As they look ahead to the rest of the year, it’s clear that warehouse and distribution managers have their eye on continuous improvement and operational efficiency. In assessing their roadmaps for 2020, 33% of companies say their top e-fulfilment/distribution goals will be to reduce errors in order processing while also improving order accuracy.
Twenty-nine percent want to improve picking and handling processes; 26% are focused on increasing profitability and reducing costs on a per-order basis; and 25% want to improve productivity as a way to solve labour challenges.
For one-fourth of survey respondents, the focus for 2020 will be on upgrading order picking technology or to get more out of their existing physical space. Other key areas of focus for the year ahead include reducing order fulfilment cycle times, gaining real-time inventory visibility across the supply chain, and meeting customers’ same-day/next-day delivery expectations.
Overall, picking and order processing appear to be the two biggest areas that organizations want to improve this year. Once improved, these functions all contribute to speedier and more accurate customer deliveries—the Holy Grail for ecommerce companies.
As ecommerce continues to grow, the pressures being exerted on the modern warehouse or distribution operation will only exacerbate. Concurrently, issues like low labour availability, the ongoing trade wars, higher freight costs, rising real estate costs, and aging facility infrastructure will continue to make life difficult for warehouse and logistics managers.
To keep up, companies are evaluating new technology solutions, implementing automated systems, and coming up with new ways to work more efficiently in any conditions.
With this growing interest in warehouse automation there will be more companies looking for ways to balance their growing ecommerce operations with changing customer demands. By augmenting their human workforces with automated equipment and software that helps them address these issues, smart companies are bracing themselves for long-term success in any economic or business conditions.
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