Nick Sacke, Head of Operations and Pre-Sales, Comms365
If there was one word to define 2022, it was ‘unpredictable.’ The European logistics industry, in particular, had a rollercoaster of a year, and, as a result, supply chain agility has proven to be of utmost importance. The ability to react quickly to changes in the market, unexpected hurdles and fluctuating customer demand, is imperative – and warehouses play an important role in maximising operational efficiency.
And, while the latest innovations on the market from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) might seem appealing, warehouse managers first need to consider the role that basic internet connectivity has on business performance. Too many logistics businesses are relying on getting fixed line or fibre internet access into their warehouses, and, as a result, are experiencing unnecessary delays and disruptions to their operations.
Instead, alternative connectivity solutions, such as bonded internet technology, can play a crucial role in ensuring business resilience, explains Nick Sacke, Head of Operations and Pre-Sales, Comms365. By having a strong internet connection in place from day one, especially ahead of any peak shopping trends, warehouses can continue to underpin effective trading, while maximising their flexibility and agility to future-proof the business against further challenges.
Internet connectivity is essential for organisations in every industry, including logistics. As ongoing hurdles continue to create new challenges for the sector – from rising costs, ongoing supply chain disruptions, and a shortage of workers, to increasing pressure to meet consumer demand – warehouse managers must explore how they can survive and succeed in this challenging landscape.
Despite the cost-of-living crisis, research has found that take-up and costs for logistics spaces have continued to increase, driven largely by growth in eCommerce. Yet, despite increased demand, the development of new sites is hampered by a large volume of requirements – including location, size and connectivity – which is limiting the ability for growth. But what if rural locations were no longer considered a barrier, especially when it comes to internet capabilities?
With fluctuations and seasonal changes, logistics businesses need to ensure that any potential delays that impact their operations are minimised. The ability for bandwidth and infrastructure to be able to scale up (and/or down) as business demand changes and connectivity requirements fluctuate has never been more important – especially within warehouses. In order to overcome these challenges, as well as making better use of the resources already available, having reliable, yet agile internet performance on-site is key.
Bonded internet Technology
To overcome existing and potentially new challenges, especially for warehouses where there is often no current connection, logistics businesses can invest in a communications resource that meets the business’ internet needs, regardless of location. Gone are the days when internet connectivity was restricted to a fixed-line provision, and now, devices utilising software-defined networking can be implemented – which connect to the internet using mobile technology.
By mitigating the delays related to fixed line installations, logistics businesses can benefit from this added flexibility and unlock the ability to rapidly open new warehouses when internet services are required urgently, irrespective of where these may be located – even in the most rural of sites. Certain locations where new warehouses are being built may not have a telecoms infrastructure yet, but logistics businesses no longer need to wait and experience delays when an immediate internet connection is now available.
By integrating internet connections from different carriers to create a single ‘virtual internet pipe,’ advanced bonded wireless internet solutions enable organisations to add important resilience and backup capability to their connection while building in contingency with an automatic failover should one of the lines fail.
Furthermore, advanced bonded internet solutions can be implemented in a single warehouse or multiple sites, with management and visibility of the whole estate accessible through a single portal. In addition to reliable performance, the speed of deployment is appealing. Bonded internet connections can be rolled out on-site immediately, offering instant internet connectivity – minimising delays, while offering rapid productivity and efficiency gains.
Investing in the Foundations for Future Innovations
Over the last few years, the logistics industry has recognised the importance of creating smart warehouses and digitising processes as a means of survival and remaining competitive. With rapid developments in the technology available, from IoT, Machine Learning (ML), AI, and the use of robotics, the warehouse of the future is likely to be much more innovative.
However, these technologies can only be successful if warehouses have high-speed and reliable internet network connectivity in place to support the use of these innovations. Without having the right connectivity foundations in place, these technologies could soon become a poor investment. Put simply, any drive to improve operational efficiency through digital tools today relies on having high-speed and reliable internet connectivity on-site to achieve maximum value.
To remain competitive and meet both consumer demand and expectations, especially during peak season, the logistics industry must implement both smarter processes and technology. To make this a reality, the first step is to abandon outdated operations and management methods, and instead, ensure that the fundamentals of warehouse internet connectivity are in place.
Finding an immediate, high-quality internet network connection no longer needs to be a complex problem, or a struggle to find instant connectivity to minimise negative impacts on projects. Instead, by working with an experienced and trusted provider, who can discuss the available connectivity options for your warehouse, and supply the right internet solution and service that is needed, the process can become simple and streamlined. With the foundations of strong, reliable and high-speed connectivity in place, firms can capitalise on digitisation and reap the transformative benefits, while remaining adaptable and scalable in a challenging global marketplace.