Warehousing 2019: How to Optimize Operations - Global Trade Magazine
  March 13th, 2019 | Written by

Warehousing 2019: How to Optimize Operations

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  • "People say it’s like trying to build an airplane while it’s in the air, and that’s pretty accurate.”
  • Refreshing your operational approach to warehousing operations should be handled with caution and care.
  • “Not only do we need to improve the technological advancement of our warehouse, we need to update our thought process."

In 2019, warehousing companies might want to consider the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as an option for delivery. The top two of key differentiators companies consider drivers for change in warehouse usage include the need for lowered transportation costs (at 42.7 percent) while others cited the need for shortened delivery times and (40.5 percent), according to a Zebra Technology survey.

Looking ahead at the changes to come in 2020, Zebra also shows that in 2015, only 55.1 percent of companies were leveraging load optimization and performance monitoring and anticipating its integration by 2020. This number will jump to 61.6 percent, according to the global survey results. The report goes on to explain that explicit costs and benefits should not be the total focus and only make up a part of the bigger picture.

It states that, “Not only do we need to improve the technological advancement of our warehouse, but we need to update our thought process also. When considering RoI on implementing technology, don’t only look at the investment as cost and recovery of cost, but think of how this creates value for your customers, how you improve the productivity of your employees, what impact does it have on your culture and public image, will embracing technology give an advantage over competitors, and so on.”

Zebra’s survey also revealed some interesting insight into the level of difficulty experienced by companies seeking to change the supply-chain process. A total of 32.2 percent noted that it is “somewhat difficult” to introduce changes in 2015. That number is predicted to drop down to 22.1 percent in 2020.

Refreshing your operational approach to warehousing operations should be handled with caution and care. Don’t rush trying to integrate a new technology solution without checking the other boxes first. UPS cautions this practice for next steps and transforming your current business model.

“Most operations were designed based on what worked in the past, and, of course, that can’t necessarily deliver what customers expect today,” says Simon Bhadra, senior manager for the UPS Industrial Distribution customer segment. “There are valid business reasons that customers demand changes from their intermediaries or are bypassing them altogether. Pressure to cut costs, reduce turn times, for example. It’s difficult to make meaningful changes and still be productive and keep customers happy. People say it’s like trying to build an airplane while it’s in the air, and that’s pretty accurate.”


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