The modern world of e-Commerce is changing in terms of consumer expectation and rising demand. To remain competitive, increase efficiency and productivity and meet strict compliance requirements, e-Commerce has adopted current technologies and robotic applications in warehousing and transportation – and military warehousing, according to many experts, should be doing the same.
Levels of customization in modern commercial warehousing has reached new heights in both physical and operational changes. With the additional implementation of smart integration and machine learning algorithms delivering advanced planning options, sustainability across systems and processes can be fully supported.
Military warehousing is facing similar challenges in terms of the changes required to maintain logistics flexibility in the future of warfare. With the future battlefield likely to be a disparate, complex and widespread place, centralized supply and transportation will no longer be viable and supplying multi-domain troops will require a future-proof solution that can also keep up with, and protect, the inevitable increase in communications and data flow.
Integrating current technologies to future-proof military warehousing
Some military decision-makers believe that adaptation and integration of key, existing and proven e-Commerce-developed, technology-driven warehousing and logistics solutions for military use will provide the answer, and fast. Operational agility in near-real-time will be required for military logistics and warehousing of future, fast-paced warfare.
The most efficient commercial warehousing and transportation companies are those which handle small consignments frequently. Companies like Amazon and UPS, for example, handle thousands of small shipments every day with proven success rates. Automation, and the implementation of the smart technology and applications to support it, is key.
Within a military warehousing environment, key technologies should also be integrated with commercial solutions to handle hazardous materials and other dangerous shipments, in addition to managing overhangs, oversizing and materials that must be handled with specialized packaging procedures. Storage of such materials can be carefully and efficiently handled in dedicated areas, such as frustrated or segregation areas typical of a military environment using the right combination of technologies. The strong integration and synergies between augmented reality, the use of robotics technologies and other solutions, such as RFID and wearable devices introduction can help to accelerate and automate warehousing picking procedures, packaging and storage in dedicated or segregated areas.
Collaborative robots (Cobots) help to relieve the pressure of a hazardous environment from human workers and wearable devices are particularly powerful elements that can, when part of an integrated, smart environment, support military airport, port and land warehousing operators at all levels. Combining technologies in these environments supports the preparation of shipments in a multi-modal context, with the ability to minutely calculate compatibility between hazardous materials and the functionality to build optimized pallets and containers, taking centre of gravity, volume and mass and many other factors into account.
To enable Amazon-esque small, high-frequency shipments in typical military warehousing, a collaborative approach between these current technologies is the necessary step that must be taken to fully optimize military warehouse management. A-ICE’s work with the Italian Air Force is offering insights into the best combinations of solutions to deliver the agility that is needed throughout the military logistics world of today.
How A-ICE’s CLOS delivers a comprehensive, compliant solution – today
A-ICE introduced Collaborative Logistics Optimization System, CLOS to make every link in the chain of military logistics operations aligned, strengthening the supply chain and delivering operational agility to planning, flexibility for last-minute changes and allowing third-party incorporation at the most secure levels.
Through vital machine learning, CLOS enhances functionality at every stage of planning, delivering real-time benefits in operations and analysis, data and communications flow and compliance. With automation of core functions and comprehensive visibility achieved, decision-making capabilities are significantly accelerated, and operational costs reduced.
CLOS can help to maximize utilization of every available resource and implemented technology or applications within the fully-integrable, managed single platform and provides a powerful solution that remains scalable and flexible to adapt to and adopt future technology advancements. As the military landscape continues to evolve, warehousing and transportation must be prepared to evolve too.
Contact A-ICE to talk about CLOS today – we are perfectly placed to help military logistics operations face every complexity, meet compliance and increase preparedness for current and future military transportation and warehousing.