Warehouses are a key part of any successful online retailing business, and this is especially important in the sphere of marketplaces, where millions of orders are being processed on a daily basis across the globe. Everything becomes even more complex when the cross-border capabilities are involved, and this part simply can’t be avoided as the online trade has become a global business spread all over the globe.
Zebra Technologies Corporation has conducted research that involved over 1400 companies with their own warehouses and came up with a pretty interesting set of data. The research was separated into 4 different geographical zones: North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific.
The common denominator for all zones turned out to be the desire for higher automation of the warehouse management processes, and the development of new data-driven systems that will allow warehouse workers to have full control over the stock, and the quick feed of data on where every single item in the warehouse is. Of course, there are somewhat different priority areas for each geography.
In the next 5 years, the warehouse square footage is expected to grow by 26% and that is a growth that will require serious investments in automation processes. RFID technology for parcels is the key feature for most of the companies that took place in this research, and integrating RFID technology is expected to be implemented in packing, picking, and inventory management.
For almost half of the North American businesses, the main challenge lies in the outbound packaging and loading segment. A huge majority of them claim that they will implement appropriate trailer loading optimisation solutions in order to tackle these issues.
In this region, the most significant challenge lies in workers efficiency, which is at a rather low-level thanks to the outdated warehouse management procedures. Some 71% of the interviewed companies highlighted this as the key problem. They intend to implement Android-based computer systems into their operations so the efficiency can be brought on a level that is comparable with more developed regions.
Workers efficiency is a key segment that is considered for improvement in this region as well. However, in this case, the focus will be on the high tech gadgets that will allow better control on the warehouse floor. This will be achieved through smart watches, special glasses, and other wearables that will feed the data in real time.