top of page

The Importance of Warehouse Connectivity

In today’s technologically advanced business landscape connectivity is important. As digital transformation continues to change the way companies operate businesses of all industries are expected to do the same so that they can meet their customer’s needs.

This is as true for the warehousing and logistics industry. Connectivity and the strength of their wireless networks is an important part to running a successful warehouse today. Everything from supporting and communicating real-time inventory management data, to the advent of cloud-based systems, and ensuring that devices are reliably connected for mobile operations are all dependent on good wireless infrastructure and connectivity.

Given the importance of connectivity within the modern warehouse we’ll discuss why it should be prioritized, how this can be done, and the benefits derived. Let’s dive in.

Wireless connectivity within a warehouse helps to keep operations moving smoothly. However, there are a few challenges that come up when it comes to reliability. First and foremost is the size of the warehouse footprint. Depending on where you are in a warehouse signal strength may vary, even to the point where there are dead zones that impeded work. There is also the very construction of the building itself. Wireless signals can struggle to penetrate large buildings constructed out of steel, brick, or masonry building materials. Add to this the rows upon rows of floor to ceiling stacked inventory and the multitude of devices all competing for the same network signal and a warehouse can be a less than ideal environment to catch a constant signal.

The importance of having a strong wireless signal is important because of the nature of the work and space. Warehouses are large with a significant amount of obstruction, traffic, and noise. Could you ever imagine trying to find an item, having a problem, or needing to talk to specific person without the support of a connected environment? The amount of time wasted would be enormous.

That’s why modern warehouses and workers are equipped with handheld scanning devices that are also smart devices. Workers can thus perform inventory tasks, access their WMS platform, and communicate all from their handheld device. However, this is only made possible if the connectivity of the warehouse is optimized for the space and amount of people within it.

So, how do we improve or implement a solid connected warehouse? Knowing where to start may seem like a mighty task due to the age, construction, size, and layout of the warehouse. But these tips should get you started on the right path.

First is your provider. Residential suppliers are much different than industrial or enterprise suppliers. Residential supplier signal strengths a geared for the home consumer or small business use case. They also tend not have any specific requirements for issue resolutions, which may put your operations at risk. Industrial providers though are geared towards businesses that rely on connectivity and have specialized hardware and set-ups geared towards ensuring this. As well most will have 24 hour support hotlines and a guaranteed issue resolution component to their service contract. They also tend to have higher network security standards making them a sure pick for securing your network. While the price point of these providers may be higher it does pay off long term, especially given the rigours of the warehouse environment.

Signal amplification and coverage within the warehouse is another way you can ensure connectivity. Distributed antenna systems are a great way to amplify cellular signals outside the warehouse inside the space. An industrial or business-focused mesh network is also a great way to extend coverage of wi-fi signals across the entire warehouse. While the wi-fi network is centrally managed nodes are placed around the warehouse to extend the signal. This allows for complete coverage anywhere workers might go in the warehouse and eliminates dead zones.

Of course, wi-fi networks are susceptible to power outages so having handheld smart scanner devices that can have SIM cards and cellular data capabilities will help if in this type of event. This allows workers to continue to perform their core tasks during a power service interruption.

Smart devices will also allow workers to connect to cloud solutions. For example, Akatia’s WMS for Salesforce, WAM, has a mobile scanner application that connects directly to Salesforce in real-time. The scanner devices Akatia suggests have mobile data connections through SIM cards. Thus, even if there is a wi-fi interruption or power outage workers can remain connected to the WMS and work continuously from their handheld scanner device without any downtime.

Warehouse connectivity will also ensure that information is communicated with ease. Whether it’s sending orders for picking to workers through wi-fi supported devices, printing off labels for shipping and warehouse receipts, scheduling and confirming warehouse truck appointments, or sending information to your customers, amongst other practical usages, having a connected warehouse will ensure reliability and improve efficiency.

As we can see connectivity plays a big part in optimizing the modern warehouse space. It may seem daunting at first but applying some of the strategies and technologies we’ve discussed to the warehouse space can ensure that they are keeping pace with the overall digital business transformation. This will help warehouses and logistics business to not only provide an unparalleled level of service, but to gain efficiency for their business.

If you’re looking to transform the way you manage your warehouse and inventory, click the link below to get in contact with us. We’d be happy to speak with you!

Also for more information feel free to take a look at our Salesforce AppExchange listing for more information about WAM, the WMS for Salesforce.


bottom of page