Operating one with additional requirements can further complexities that companies need to manage as they ensure product quality and adhere to regulations. For many manufacturers, retailers, and third parties, these complexities continue to be a challenge as the market expands. According to Grand View Research, the U.S. frozen food market revenue is expected to reach $70 billion by 2024. While these trends encourage manufacturers to continue to introduce new products and increase productivity, it compiles hurdles within the supply chain.
As cold storage brings complexities like multiple temperature range control, reduction in equipment life, and regulation limits on human exposure, automation is fast becoming the answer to address these issues. More and more facilities are opting to install automation as a way to adhere to regulations and save cost. This shift allows companies to efficiently store product without having to increase their footprint. Plus, automation drastically reduces the number of laborers, which works well for frigid environments. However, some facilities are relying heavily on warehouse management software (WMS) as a tool to help drive efficiencies while adhering to labor laws.
A robust WMS solution can monitor key indicators during operation. Many operation management teams are starting to rely heavily on their WMS to alert associates when it’s time to exit the cold area. Also, a good WMS should be able to interface with temperature control systems in order to give real-time visibility into facilities management. Alerts can be set-up to indicate other parameters as well. Optimization for inventory turns and the ability to enabling picking by sale by dates are just a few. Plus, an updated WMS solution should allow management to operate multiple facilities—which allows visibility and insights and forecasting data across multiple locations. Each efficiency will help reduce the overall operations cost of each facility.