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Warehouse technology investment expected to accelerate by 2020

Zebra Technologies Corporation has compared expectations in 2015 versus 2020 in 1,378 IT and operations warehouse professionals, finding that increasing consumer expectations will drive investment in IT and operational functions in warehouses.

In the latest 'Warehouse Vision Study,' over 40 per cent of respondents cited shorter delivery times as a key measure requiring investment, with 76 per cent believing the number of warehouse locations and volume of items shipped will increase due to increased consumer demand.

Half of the IT and operations decision makers surveyed planned to move to a more modern, full-featured warehouse management system last year to help manage the increased locations and items shipped, while 75 per cent plan this in 2020.

Furthermore, 51 per cent expected increased investment in real-time location systems to track inventory and assets last year, rising to 76 per cent in 2020.

Investments are also expected to be made in:

  • Equipping staff with technology (73 per cent)
  • Barcode scanning (68 per cent)
  • Tablets (66 per cent)
  • Internet of Things (62 per cent)

Mark Wheeler, director of Warehouse Solutions at Zebra Technologies said: “IT and operations decision makers in warehouses and distribution centres consistently need to identify new ways to improve productivity and reduce costs to remain competitive. Fulfillment is an integral part of the customer value chain and investment in technology and innovation in this area can go far to improve a customer’s experience.

"Nearly half of respondents in the survey indicated a concern about labour performance in the order, pick and fulfillment process. We see this as an enormous area of opportunity: providing workers with the tools they need to do their jobs accurately and productively will help companies meet and exceed customer expectations for accuracy and on-time delivery.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Don Pablo