Online sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 56 percent—from $335 billion to $523 billion—over the next few years. How will your warehouse keep up with these unprecedented demands? The short answer is investing capital into technology that simplifies the act of doing business.
A recent survey of IT and warehouse operation professionals from around the globe revealed a remarkable trend among the 1,300 respondents. Investing in the latest technology is on everyone’s three-year plan.
Here are the findings. By the year 2020:
- 75 percent of decision making managers expect to implement an upgraded, complete warehouse management systems (WMS).
- 73 percent of managers expect to that advanced visibility, barcode scanning and/or computing technologies will be accessible across their enterprise.
- 76 percent plan to invest capital to expand real-time location systems, facilitating advanced tracking capabilities for inventory and assets throughout the warehouse.
Business plans goals are poised to:
- Slash transportation costs – a costly concern for 43 percent of those surveyed
- Facilitate faster delivery times – critically important to 41 percent of respondents
- Deploy telematic software platforms that provide complete visibility. Fully engaging the IoT – to clearly see every level of their supply chain
- Leverage new suppliers and partnerships with easier, faster accessibility – a goal of 32 percent of managers
The take-away from this survey is that if you are avoiding investing in upgrades to your warehouse technology, you are in the minority. This choice will place you at a disadvantage. Like it or not, the need for technology is increasing and the IoT will play an even bigger role in your productivity as this occurs.
Research firm, Gartner, says use of Internet-connected physical devices will increase by 30% by the year 2020. This will “significantly alter how the supply chain operates” - changing how leaders in the supply chain access information, document all aspects of operation, and track inventory.
Key benefits include:
- In-transit visibility from cloud-based GPS and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies, which provide identity, location, and other tracking information.
- Telematics' software with advanced locationing technology, which determines the “where, when, and why” events are happening in a facility, so traffic can be routed effectively and inventory easily located.
- Connectivity, allowing devices to “talk to each other” to save fuel costs and monitor traffic conditions for optimized routing.
- Telematics software ensures operators receive all required retraining, and can target specific skill or behavior deficits. This technology will also disable vehicles if the operator is not recertified.
- Instant access to operator report cards for information on how well operators are doing as individuals and in comparison to other operators. It highlights areas by tracking speed, the number of impacts, safety checklist failures, activity, and certifications.
Want a competitive advantage by the year 2020? It may depend on much – and how quickly - you know what is happening across your business. Investing in the latest upgrades in telematic software, and devices that leverage the IoT, may be the difference between thriving or just surviving.