Each year we get to start with a fresh perspective. All signs continue pointing to continued change and investment in the operations department.
So, let’s take a look at how the landscape will change.
The grand scheme of things
Adaptability and responsiveness will increase in importance.
An ARC Advisory Group survey of warehouse practitioners and how they think transformation will impact operations has uncovered that adaptability and responsiveness will increase in importance. On top of that, ARC’s findings suggest that drop shipments and consumer centricity will take centre stage in the future of logistics.
In terms of investment itself, the survey found that technology within the scope of warehouse planning is likely to focus on good-arrival and order-picking areas.
Key influencing factors on the future of warehouse operations
Alongside this general trend of improved responsiveness, the Supply Chain Brief (SCB), Forbes and the Entrepreneur all predict that the following will be crucial influences in the coming months:
Technological capabilities in terms of replacing labour-intense processes with automated alternatives are increasingly gaining traction. However, despite the cost savings and time efficiencies from these developments, the more automated operations become, the fewer jobs will exist in the industry in a number of years.
To remain ahead within the industries, key decision makers therefore need to rethink the role of human workers before they become obsolete.
At the same time as consumers are putting more emphasis on sustainable business practises, organisations can benefit from the momentum and initiatives around more environmentally solutions, particularly when it comes to international shipping.
The focus here, however, should extend beyond the supply chain and encompass the entire business to maximise the benefits – such as reputation and long-term running costs – that better processes and practises can have.
3. Big Data
Operations have used technologies such as RFID tags for a while now. The growing dominance of predictive analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) can’t be underestimated though. Business looking to identify opportunities and strengthen their core capabilities should learn to leverage the insights they can gain from Big Data and IoT.
What does this mean for me?
The days where being successful by doing what has worked in the past are over. Instead, organisations need to adapt their processes to reflect the growing need for efficient and sustainable practises.
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