Richards (2017) stated that the warehouse Industry faces in Singapore because of which technical as well as logistics glitches are face by the E-commerce Industry. Hence, it is important to develop a detailed analysis of the challenges that is faced by the warehouse in Singapore and the various aspects of these challenges that could and does hinder proper functioning of these warehouses. Layout is one of the issues in warehouse industry. The blueprint or the basic layout of the warehouse is very important in the proper management of the warehouses of Singapore. It has to be noted here that the size of the warehouse does matter in context of the amount of the goods that is to be stored in the inventory, but this is different from the layout of the warehouses. It should not be divided into improper section and should not be congested and overly spread. Each space should be carefully designed to suit the needs of the logistics that are to be stored there in the warehouse. The layout is also important because many logistics that arrive through huge cargo trucks can sometimes make the process more tiring if there is not a proper layout of the warehouse in place. On the other hand, location, accuracy, huge amount of process is the challenges faced by the warehouse industry in Singapore (Dewa et al. 2017). Location is the second important challenge that is face by most of the warehouses not just specific in Singapore but in most developing as well as developed countries is the location of the warehouse. This is very important because of the fact that most of the warehouses are like the personal or combined Inventory of the major Ecommerce businesses. Therefore, the location becomes even more important because if it is not specific to an area, state, or location, the process of delivery could also get hampered. It is to be advisable that the warehouse should be in ample distance from the port if any such location. It is their or if not they should be between a city so that goods can be delivered in the city and also for the fact that cargo trucks would not face any major issue for the unloading of goods in the warehouses.
Accuracy is one of the major challenges in the industry. The term accuracy means there should not be any shortage of the goods that is being stored at the warehouse. This also means that there should not be any unnecessary storage of goods in the warehouse would ultimately lead to capital expenses and will not yield any profit. Accuracy can be maintained by the warehouse through various simple changes that needs to be done like for example, there should be a clear view of the warehouse and all its different storing section if there are any. There should be proper maintenance of the inventory with the warehouse management system or WMS, reports, and the management should see detail. If any discrepancies arise in proper maintenance of the system, it should be properly discussed with the management.
There is a danger of using too much complex process in the loading and unloading of the goods in the warehouse and this could result in non-performance of the warehouse. The processes should be made very simple so that the employees of the warehouse could execute it without any hassle. One such very easy method is the proper implementation of the barcodes in the warehouse sector. The barcodes are very beneficial in the implementation of the different processes with ease from the unloading of the goods, to assigning the respective sections to the goods to the dispatching of the goods to its delivery point (Yang 2015). All these can be done through reading the status of the product through the barcodes.
There has always been an issue in the picking of the logistics from the warehouses and it is because of the reason of no pre-assigned route to the delivery person (Pedrielli et al. 2016). There should be some stress laid on this department so that handing of the goods for picking could be done through system-generated routes by the system to avoid any delay in the process. It can also be useful for any unnecessary implementation failure in the process. Hence, it is important to research on the challenges and issues faced by the warehouse industry in Singapore.
Proposed research methodology
It is important to select proper methodological tools that will be helpful to conduct the research properly (Flick 2015). Selection of research approach, philosophy and research design are thusly important for a research.
Positivism research philosophy will be selected in the research. Selection of the particular philosophy will be helpful to understand and analyze the issues and challenges faced by warehouse industry in Singapore (Mackey and Gass 2015). Interpretivism and realism philosophy will be discarded for having limitations in time.
In the research, deductive approach will be used as the research will deal with existing theory or model associated with the research topic (Lewis 2015). On the other hand, as the research will not develop any theory or model related to the topic, inductive approach would be discarded in the research.
In the research, descriptive research design will be selected as it will be helpful to develop procedure in evaluating the challenges involved with the warehouse industry in Singapore and recommend solutions to improve the overall process. However, the research will not follow the idea regarding the exploratory and longitudinal research design.
Data collection process
In the research, primary data will be collected about the issues and challenges faced by warehouse industry in Singapore. On the other hand, secondary data will be collected and analyzed in the form of literature review. There will be 45 employees selected for data collection process.
Data analysis process
Quantitative analysis method will be followed in the research in order to collect data for the research. The data collected for the research will be analyzed based on the improvement process in warehouse industry of Singapore.
The data collected for the research will be kept secured under the Data Collection Act 1998. In addition, primary criteria such as ensuing the participants to join in the survey will be done. Hence, a signed participation form will be utilized for ensuring ethical practice for the research.
Ma, Yang and Wang (2017) mentioned that despite a decline in global economy, there has been no such impact seen in the Asian market or its economy probably because of the ever expanding middle class who have helped to push the economic boundaries of these nations. And as many studies have predicted the growth of urban middle class to 50% by 2020, it is not surprising that many E-commerce and logistics companies in Singapore are preparing themselves for this huge population surge that will provide great market opportunities. Considering the above situation in Singapore and the future its holds for the country, their needs to a proper analysis made to know the conditions of the warehouses of Singapore and the ways it could be improved so that along with the profit, the conditions of the logistics warehouses can also be improved.
There was an estimated sale of $394.9 billion by the E-commerce sector and the figure is expected to rise even further considering the growth prospect of the nations. These figures does put a tremendous amount of pressure in the logistics and wad especially the warehouses that are responsible for collecting and distributing goods and are the storehouses of the many of the E-commerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba etc (Fera et al. 2017). Through this report, various successful implementation as well as the challenges that surrounds the working of warehouses in Singapore are discussed. Among such tools that is been
successfully use by the warehouses in Singapore ios the Warehouse Management System or (WMS) which is tactical software used by large warehouses is optimize their operation and and for proper allocation of their resources towards a toward creating a less complex warehouse situation. There are also certain methods of improving the accuracy of the warehouses and some well searched loading and unloading techniques that are to be implemented in the day-to-day working of the warehouse (Zhang et al. 2016). The location of the warehouse is also an important aspect of its basic and effective functionality so that time could also be manipulated in the loading and unloading of the goods.
It has to be understood in context of Singapore that most of the logistics and goods that are stored in the warehouses are from the Ecommerce industry and because of this the supply and demand becomes utmost important in relation to the logistic and good that are stored in the warehouses. The mechanism of operation of the warehouses also need to be understood in order to improve it, so it will be looked after about the most common challenges of the warehouses in Singapore and the core reason behind those challenges. This is very important in order to make suggestion as to how these conditions in the warehouse can be improved and its function can be optimized. In Singapore, as the penetration of Internet has gone over 85% of the total area, also a new smart technology has already made an impression in the minds of many of the warehouse owners. This technology uses the smart concept of utilizing the internet service to properly deal with all kinds of logistics requirement including the arrival and departure of goods through the warehouses using barcodes (Wong et al. 2018). Barcodes have been already in used for many years now but because of this technology, its utilization has also been increased. Smart technology using the Internet of Things has opened a wide area to be used by the computer science and their counterparts. This has also helped the logistics sector to utilise it for their own development and growth.
Technology and financial services
As it is seen, that there are many challenges in the proper uses of the warehouses in the Singapore. However, because of its technological advancement, these problems have been overcome via some very effective methods that are discussed in this section. The techniques that have been discussed below have already been implemented by many warehouses. So, let us look at some of the basis improvement strategy for the warehouses in Singapore.
- The layout:For better handling of the goods in the warehouses, both the internal as well as the external layout should be complementing each other and not the other way. There should be no congestion outside the warehouses like in the parking places, which could also affect the activities of the warehouse. Some of the other factor that are also to be looked out in warehouses are:
There should be a future prediction of the amount of goods that could be stored in the warehouses while laying out the plan for it (Hui et al. 2015). Even after future prediction, however accurate it can get, there is always a possibility of unpredicted circumstances that should also be kept in mind. There should also be a natural flow in the layout of the warehouses that could affect the feasibility by which the goods are to be managed. There is always a problem of racks in the warehouse i.e the size and different heights of these racks. This can also affect proper utilisation of the workforce in the warehouse and it should be checked that these racks are arranged in order. This can be done effectively through knowing the goods that are to be stored in the warehouses and knowing about their physical and well as mechanical requirements could help.
- Receiving:This area of any warehouse has to work round the clock, so it is
natural that this area will require a lot of attention and fixes than other area of the warehouse (Tiwari et al. 2018). There should be proper mechanism developed so that only one transporter is allowed to unload the logistics in the warehouse at a time. This could help in eliminating any congestion issues in the warehouse as well as any management problem that might be faced because of two or more transporter at a time. There are certain steps that are to be performed by the receiving staff of the warehouse with every transporter that is arriving in that inventory. Like, properly making a checklist of the supplier with that of the goods that is being delivered. There should be proper inspection of all the external packages for any damages, which would prevent any future complication regarding the goods that are being delivered. All the goods that is being received should immediately be taken to their respective section in the warehouse. It should be made mandatory to properly indicate any damaged goods that might be found during the inspection phase and it should also be made a point to take a picture of that good.
- Storing:This is done to avoid any future market demand that the company could not be able to handle under normal circumstances. This is done through utilising the WMS (warehouse management system) so that an apt place could be decided in the warehouse where these goods could be stored. The put away is done to relocate the storage bins in the warehouse that is dedicated to the storage of these goods.
- Mechanical Handling: the mechanical handling of the goods in an inventory is the part of warehouse. Every containment that is delivered in the warehouse has to be handled mechanically to move it from places to be store and then from places when it is to be loaded by the trucks (Gupta et al. 2019). Fork machine are generally use in the warehouses for transporting the goods in the warehouse. It is very important that the materials of the warehouses be handled in a delicate and efficient manner because of many reasons. It does reduces any damages the goods can get, reduces any unforeseen cases of any injury that might be caused by the staff and the most important being, it does save a lot of time in the shifting of the goods from one place in the warehouse to the other.
5.Loading : Loading of any item from the warehouse is also an important process in the whole processes that have been discussed. Picking does involve taking the order of the customer and arranging those items or goods within the inventory, which is followed by the packaging of those goods from the warehouse to its respective places. As it is noticed that, it does involve quite a many number of individual process that needs to be executed in tandem to avoid any delay of process lapse in between. It is to be noted that this process can be done through the proper implementation of the Warehouse Management System. The routes of these delivery should also be kept in mind as travel time in this section of the warehouse does account for more than 50% of the total time. Efficiency in this process can be achieved by properly managing al, the process without any delay.
- Warehouse Management System
The warehouse management system or the WMS is software that is being used by the warehouses in Singapore to [properly manage all the aspect of the warehouse and help the staff to overcome any mismanagement in their part. The companies that use them in Singapore use them to optimize the distribution centre management. They use to manage the daily planning, staffing the warehouse, controlling the warehouse and supervising the proper utilization of resources in the warehouses (Pedrielli et al. 2016). It is sometime described as a tactical tool that has a database of the goods that have been received by the warehouse and their respective catalogs of their racks or section where they are kept. The staffs that
are working in the warehouse at that moment are all logged in with WMS and their work is also monitored by the software. All the dispatched products have to be properly entered in the database of WMS so that a real time availability of all the goods can easily be seen through its database. All the logistics that the warehouse gets in ay period of the day is properly entered in the databases and has to be updated regularly. A proper dashboard of the WMS system has all the details that is needed b y any staff member of the managers to know about the real time status of that warehouse. The WMS system does help the staff in performing many of the functions of the warehouse such as picking, packing, assembling, verifying the documents of the transporter, inspection of all the goods, proper document verification, and the receiving of the goods in the inventory. One of the main reasons why so many warehouses in Singapore has purchased and modified this WMS is because of its ability to adopt in many types of warehouses of different sectors of the industry. The success of the WMS system can be seen by the fact that nowadays, even the giants E-commerce companies are implementing the WMS in their inventory in Singapore.
The smart Nation plan of Singapore has not only opened the door for many innovative technologies in other sector such as IT and manufacturing but has also opened the door wide open for the Smart Logistics initiative in the warehouse. This is to be an innovative logistics network in and throughout Singapore. This will also help the warehouses to use this technology to gain advantages over its problems as stated in the earlier sections of this report (Lee et al. 2017). The main motive of this initiate is to allow the owners of cargo and warehouses to harness the collective benefits of this cutting edge technology that would eliminate many other complexities that are been seen in today’s world of warehouse handling. There would be many benefit of this smart logistics network, but among all of the most crucial is the fact that this technology can be able to reduce the cost of transportation as well as the handling of the logistics in the warehouses (Johnson 2017). The fact that the projected annual saving of this initiate is around $56 million does speaks the volume of this project. This will apply new technology in the logistics department so that supply and demand can be met hand in hand and can go into the future without worrying about the enormous increase in demand. Data analysis is to be use to properly project all the inefficiencies that is surrounding the warehouses in Singapore. This will be done in collaboration of many Ecommerce as well as logistics company that has a stake in this sector. With the main goal of optimizing the delivery process, these data will eventually be helpful in analyzing all the different and efficient routes, the types of different goods and data of the companies that are in this sector (Mukolwe and Wanyoike 2015). A comprehensive plan would be chalked out to use these data to device a network that would also utilize the Internet of Things in the logistics because of the fact that Singapore has reached internet connectivity of over 85% of its total area. The problem of real time tracking that is being faced by the warehouses and the logistics department can be put to rest by deployment of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) sensors that would allow the cargos to be tracked in real time. This will definitely increase their track and trace power that will result in more customer satisfaction, which will ultimately result in more financial gains of the warehouses.
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