Technology & Innovation

5 benefits of using drones to manage warehouse inventory

Written by
Jonathan Porter
Nov 24, 2021
11:12 am
minute read

Is there a way of maximizing warehouse inventory while keeping track of a large quantity of products? 

Products can be lost in the shuffle, and vast warehouse inventories are a struggle to manage. Companies employ workers and software, along with technicians who maintain the software. It is costly and, at times, overwhelming. What if there was a way to simplify a warehouse inventory while still growing it to its max capacity? 

Luckily, with the advancements in technology, there is. The use of autonomous drones to catalog and maximize inventory has skyrocketed (no pun intended!) in the past few years. This article will outline how taking your warehouse inventory management system to the sky can benefit your business. 

Autonomous Drones in the Warehouse

So what is an autonomous drone, and how does it work?
An autonomous drone is an insect-looking piece of technology. With wings, legs for landing, a slender body, and cameras for eyes, an autonomous drone flies through the air with ease. 

The drone uses cameras to scan product barcodes and takes pictures to capture the quantity of products and relay that information back to the warehouse management system. It seamlessly tracks inventory without requiring human intervention to count and track each item.

Programmable with your warehouse map, drones can fly through your inventory, tracking what you have and where it’s located. This level of insight is invaluable to companies that may oversell, overstock, or mismanage large inventories due to human error. 

5 Benefits to Using Autonomous Drones 

While there are several benefits to utilizing autonomous drones in your warehouse inventory system, this article will give the five most beneficial. 

#1 Able to keep up with a growing market

With the rise of e-commerce, warehouse inventory systems indeed had to “up their game.”
The ability to serve customers from all over the world has allowed businesses to grow in unbelievable ways. It also means companies need to track large inventories with high turnover rates. 

Drones can quickly scan items in a warehouse and relay the data to those who need it. There is no waiting, no errors. 

These flying machines can keep up in a fast-paced environment, surpassing the ability of any human worker. Through electromagnetic barcodes, they can even track boxed items on the skids, unseeable to the human eye. 

#2 Able to work completely autonomously

Drones can dock, charge and track warehouse inventory completely autonomously. Once they are programmed and set, they can self-monitor, requiring a few check-ins and upgrades. 

Drones can also completely autonomously perform cycle counts and physical inventory counts, eliminating hours of tedious manual processes in warehouses.

This keeps your warehouse inventory up to date and relevant without any hassle. 

And your employees are free to do their jobs instead of running around trying to find things. 

#3 Make better use of your warehouse inventory space

With the automation of drones, warehouse inventory systems can identify holes in their inventory and maximize available space. Ensuring that a warehouse always has stocked product that is moving and sellable is key in the growth of a business. 

Letting unidentified space go unused and unnoticed is a liability on your inventory system. With drones, space can be completely optimized, sending data to purchasing technicians in the blink of an eye.

#4 Scalable

The use of autonomous drones in a warehouse inventory system is completely scalable. Systems can be connected just once, and then the ability to seamlessly add additional drones as your business demands scale up or down is there. The drones autonomously communicate with each other to optimize routes, ensuring tasks are completed in the most efficient way possible, even if a new drone is added or one is removed. This guarantees complete flexibility at a low cost.

#5 Cost-effective in multiple ways

Utilizing autonomous drones as inventory trackers is cost-effective for multiple reasons. While the initial purchase may seem expensive, it eliminates thousands of dollars that may be lost due to human error or fallibility. Through autonomous tracking, drones can track at a pace humans cannot.

Also, these machines do not have the same work-hour constraints as their human counterparts would. Regular inventory checks can take place 24 hours, seven days a week, giving you peace of mind and not breaking your bank. 

Drones the Future of Warehouse Inventory Tracking

For these reasons and more, companies are switching to the utilization of drones for warehouse inventory systems. It simplifies, organizes and automates the inventory tracking system in necessary ways to keep up with a growing technological world. 

Do you think adding drones will enhance your business?

Do you have a complex inventory system that requires consistency and diligence in management? 

Perhaps you have unique processes that make it challenging to add packaged, off-the-shelf software to manage your drone operations? Either way, PorterLogic can add an extra layer of flexibility that allows you to retain your unique business processes while still taking advantage of the latest technology, like autonomous drones for inventory management! 

No need to upgrade your underlying systems, PorterLogic automatically handles the hassle, and you keep all the benefits technology has to offer. 

Want the latest supply chain insights? When you subscribe to PorterLogic’s newsletter, you’ll get a bimonthly analysis and rundown of the supply chain’s latest trends and challenges in your inbox. 

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