Why don’t more people use manifesting systems?

Although manifesting systems are vital to achieving shipping efficiency, they are, in their “pure” state, by no means an ubiquitous presence in distribution centers. In a recent survey of shipping and delivery practices conducted by Multichannel Merchant/O+F, only 40% of the 155 respondents reported using stand-alone manifesting systems in their operations. One reason may be that the functions associated with these programs — label printing, verification, tracking, and shipping rate comparisons — are often featured as part of other supply chain applications. Our 2004 survey of warehouse information technology revealed that 52% of the 131 respondents had installed warehouse management systems; 25%, enterprise resource planning systems; 21%, supply chain management systems; and nearly 18%, transportation management systems. (The total exceeded 100% due to multiple answers). Clearly this allows for considerable duplication of functions and features.

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