Archives for July 2019

Warehouse Automation Critical to Future-Proof Fulfillment Strategies and Operations

By Jeff Schmitz | 07/07/2019 | 3:36 PM

Most enterprises recognize that technology can fuel greater speed and efficiency in their operations. As a result, warehouses and fulfillment centers are evolving with the latest technology to keep up with the growing on-demand economy. Zebra’s 2024 Warehousing Vision study reveals the benefits of an intelligent operation and its impact on future growth plans. The study found that almost half (46%) of surveyed respondents cited faster delivery to end-customers as the primary factor driving their warehouse growth plans.

Zebra surveyed more than 1,400 IT and operations professionals in manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail and wholesale distribution markets globally. More than 60 percent of those surveyed said IT and technology utilization was the most anticipated operational challenge over the next five years and a desired long-term outcome for increased asset visibility, real-time guidance and data-driven performance.

Sixty percent of organizations cited labor recruitment and/or labor efficiency and productivity among their top challenges. This is particularly relevant to enterprises that experience a peak season and struggle with the speed of training temporary employees. To speed-up new hire training, innovative mobile devices that are intuitive and require little to no training are the solution. Most respondents (77 percent) agreed that remaining competitive in this economy means modernizing processes, but many respondents also stated that they are slow to implement new technology.

Thankfully, transitioning to a more technologically advanced workspace isn’t an all-or-nothing overhaul approach. Instead, companies can incrementally implement new technologies so they can move at their own pace while also arming employees with the tools necessary to be successful in the fast-changing warehouse space. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents agreed that augmenting workers with technology is the best way to introduce automation in the warehouse, showcasing the potential for technological innovation to improve productivity.

The future of warehouses looks bright, with about nine in 10 enterprises (87 percent) currently increasing or planning to expand the size of their warehouses by 2024, and 83 percent of respondents plan to increase their number of employees. Today’s consumer demands, like one-day shipping, mean enterprises must find ways to create more efficient work flows to fulfill these needs, and the latest technology is a key part of the solution.


The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Jeff Schmitz

Jeff Schmitz

Jeff Schmitz is senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Zebra. Mr. Schmitz most recently served as executive vice president for multiple business units and sales at Spirent Communications where he had previously also held several senior leadership roles including chief marketing officer and vice president of networks & applications. Prior to joining Spirent, Mr. Schmitz held senior marketing positions at Rivulet Communications, Visual Networks and Tellabs Inc. Mr. Schmitz holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology.


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