Fab Five

The results are in, and the winners are clear. According to a Warehousing Education and Research Council survey conducted in July 2001, there are only five technologies in use by 50% or more of the total of 258 respondents. The companies surveyed, all WERC members, represent a wide range of industries, from consumer goods to electronics to third-party warehouses. Most of the respondents (79%) categorize themselves as large or medium-sized.

The most commonly used technologies by far are scanners and RF equipment. In third place on the top-five list, warehouse management systems show up in 75% of all industries across the board. This ubiquity of use suggests even higher usage rates in future.

Respondents have been using most of these technologies five years or more. An up-and-coming technology is labor management software, which is on the list for consideration at nearly half of the firms surveyed.

Top Tech (by size of company)
Technology Large Medium Small
Scanners 84.5% 76.5% 45.5%
RF equipment 79.8% 64.7% 40.0%
WMS 73.8% 57.3% 54.5%
Shipping equipment 67.9% 67.2% 41.8%
Conveyors 64.3% 61.3% 40.0%