A new report from market research firm Aberdeen finds that 97% of warehouse professionals are planning to redesign their facilities in the next 24 months — with 56% of best-in-class companies planning to improve operations within the next year.
According to the report, “Agile Logistics: Transforming the Distribution Center,” sponsored by C3, Forte, Manhattan Associates, and Vocollect, most small- to medium-sized companies with warehouses are planning to adopt a centralized management approach. Some expect to invest in warehouse management systems that allow for centralized management of the entire warehouse network.
Many of these systems are now being offered via the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which means installation and integration with existing systems is easier and less expensive. These Web-based systems also allow for remote management of all network activities via the Internet.
The research, based on a survey of 150 warehouse professionals in May, finds that 32% of warehouse managers plan to upgrade or enhance their warehouse management software over the next two years, while 67% will seek ways to improve processes with or without new software.
The top four priorities identified by the survey respondents include:
1) Make the distribution center/warehouse more flexible and agile as business needs change
2) Improve labor efficiency
3) Improve visibility to warehouse activities and inventory and order status
4) Improve throughput
Aberdeen expects that by 2009 more than half of leading companies will be using or will have implemented additional warehouse technology such as labor management software, ruggedized mobile computers, voice technology, yard and dock management, and slotting optimization. The use of material handling equipment, including case or pallet handling automated storage and automated retrieval (AR/AS), will be another high growth area.
For a free copy of the report, click here.