Warehouse of the Future: An Analysis of AIDC & Material Handling Solutions Shaping the Distribution Center of Tomorrow
|発行||VDC Research Group, Inc.||商品コード||350691|
|出版日||ページ情報||英文 37 Pages for Study; 34 Pages additional PDF/Vendor Profiles
|将来の倉庫業：今後の流通センターを形成するAIDC&マテハンソリューション Warehouse of the Future: An Analysis of AIDC & Material Handling Solutions Shaping the Distribution Center of Tomorrow|
|出版日: 2016年01月15日||ページ情報: 英文 37 Pages for Study; 34 Pages additional PDF/Vendor Profiles||
This research analyzes and explores key technologies, strategic issues, and market drivers for automation in the warehouse and logistics industry. With the boom of e-commerce and changing consumer habits, the warehouse and distribution center is increasingly becoming the vital component to the success of many businesses across a number of industries. Organizations today across retail, logistics, pharmaceuticals, food, and beverage are just some of the industries looking for new ways to support their expanding warehouse operations. Developments of solutions including data capture technologies, wearables and mobile devices, material flow solutions, robotics, and emerging software and analytics platforms will shape the warehouse of the future. This report covers industry trends, market insights (leading applications, drivers, and barriers), and in-depth vendor analysis, and it highlights innovations in solutions across the warehouse and logistics industry.
This research has been carefully designed for senior decision-makers at end-user companies that are evaluating solutions for warehouse/DC optimization as well as solution provider companies operating in the warehouse and logistics industry, including individuals in the following roles:
Warehouses and distribution centers (DC) are increasingly taking on central roles to the supply chain. Organizations across several industries, not limited to retail, are paying close attention to their warehouse operations as they begin to realize the value an efficient warehouse can bring to the success of their business. Businesses today face mounting challenges to execute faster order fulfillment in shorter time periods due to e-commerce and evolving customer preferences.
As warehouses become increasingly critical to supply chain management and distribution, material handling, data capture, mobile devices, wearables, and software technologies are evolving to align with organizations' vision of the warehouse of the future focusing on visibility, automation, and analytics. The advancement and emergence of new warehousing solutions such as robotics and augmented reality have led companies to trial and evaluate these solutions in the warehouse and DC with potential to see greater deployments in the future. In addition to the hardware developments, software and analytics will be taking on greater roles as the warehouse moves to achieving data driven insights and 100% full automation.
Consumers' access to non-traditional retail channels, including online shopping (both desktop and mobile), and the click-and-collect model, has transformed logistics, perhaps forever. Organizations today need to handle an increasing number of SKUs, and carry out accurate order fulfillment faster than ever before. The element of customer experience and engagement has become directly tied to the availability of and access to merchandise. The cost of a single error and its negative impact on customer service is so much more elevated in today's age of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing. If inaccuracy, delays, and other problems occur in warehouse and distribution center operations, it may lead to customer dissatisfaction, which can result in lost profits for the company.
As the number of private warehouse establishments in the US continues to rise, crossing XXX in 2015, another key driver for change and the need for automation are increasing labor costs. The single largest expense for warehouse operations today is labor. In the US alone, employment in the warehouse and logistics industry has shot to XXX in 2015 and average hourly wages have increased XX% since 2005. As a result, ensuring that warehouses employ the "right" labor and solutions to support that workforce is critical, and in a sector where seasonal workers have such a huge impact, training and on-boarding has become even more critical. The Wall Street Journal reported companies such as Amazon and UPS hired more than XXX and XXX seasonal employees, respectively, for the 2015 winter holiday shopping season. Training employees is a big part of overall costs, especially in peak seasons. Having systems and solutions in place to help ease the financial burden on organizations will become more important than ever in the future. Recently published statistics from the 2015 holiday shopping season indicate that US customers spent XX% more than in 2014, with retailers seeing a significant uptick in web-based/e-commerce sales. As online sales become an increasingly bigger contributor to overall sales, VDC expects a significant uptick in warehouse operators' consideration of and investments in automation solutions to meet growing customer demand.
Finally, in addition to labor costs organizations are facing rising overall logistics costs. Benchmark logistics costs for companies in 2014 were XX% of revenues, and as such, decision-makers are constantly looking for new ways to reduce their expenses overall. Organizations such as Walmart adopted the hub-and-spoke system to reduce costs in their distribution system and increase competitive advantage in the 1970s and have become extremely successful, however, organizations are looking to improve their solutions in the warehouse itself in order to reduce their costs overall. As e-commerce and online sales generate higher revenues for retailers, the largest organizations are bound to scrutinize and evaluate their relationships with leading 3PLs, while also estimating the costs associated with fostering such partnerships. Amazon, for instance, looks to be developing its own logistics system, complete with its own trucking fleet having recently purchased several thousand truck trailers that will drive cargo between different Amazon warehouses and shipment centers. Warehousing efficiencies will play a central role in helping retailers like Amazon and Walmart achieve their profitability targets and recover investments. The need for handling larger SKU volumes efficiently and addressing fast order fulfillment has led to the need for flexibility and modularity in automation and mechanization across every part of the warehouse and distribution center with a growing reliance on mobile technologies to optimize efficiency and productivity.
Warehouse and distribution operations have benefitted from investment in technology for many years now. In fact, the warehouse was one of the first enterprise environments to deploy wireless networks (WLAN) and mobile devices. Today, warehouse operations are entering a new phase of technological evolution as the focus of warehouse operations as a competitive differentiator has increased. Organizations face mounting challenges to improve operations driven by changing consumer spending habits, rising labor and logistics costs, and increased competition.
The increased demand for warehouse automation today is primarily to support the changing requirements driven by high volumes of small, individual orders for e-commerce creating demand across material handling types including ASRS, shuttles, AGVs, conveyors, sortation systems, and robotics, as well as order fulfillment technologies such as mobile devices and wearables. In order to efficiently manage their investments in this diverse set of solutions, end-user organizations need to proactively conduct cost-benefit analysis so as to not spread their resources too thin.
VDC's primary research indicates that decision-makers for warehouse automation-related investments tend to be fairly conservative, taking anywhere from three to seven years to make their technology purchase and deployment decisions. This is largely due to the fact that such decisions are typically made with long-term objectives in mind. On the flip side, this strategy promotes continued use of fairly antiquated solutions. While there have been pivotal moments that have had a significant effect on warehouse operations (wireless local area network deployment, mobile computer use, and investments in high-speed, long-range scanners), many of these choices have had a more incremental effect. However, as warehouse operators face growing external pressures - due to e-commerce commitments and the like - it will become increasingly important for them to evaluate and consider technology options that support the rise of discussions surrounding smart or connected warehouses. Tremendous amounts of data flow through distribution centers today via processes like goods receiving, storage, picking, dimensioning, packing, order fulfillment, and outbound transportation. It is imperative for hardware vendors and solution providers to help end users make optimal use of all the data available to them in achieving significant operational efficiencies. Organizations are tapping into resources like warehouse management systems (WMS) to enable seamless data transmission and communications thereby eliminating waste and redundancies, which help streamline processes and make informed decisions.
VDC's conversations with leading independent software vendors (ISVs) participating in the logistics space indicate that this warehouse data now not only flows through WMS but also other enterprise application software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. This is all in an attempt to cut costs, trim down manual labor requirements for repetitive tasks, enhance data capture/transmission speeds (to support real-time analytics), and improve overall shipping accuracy. This last point is particularly pertinent since reverse logistics is a significant sunk cost for third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) and manufacturers/retailers alike. It involves costs related to labor (including customer service), issuing credit to customers, shipping and tracking, and receiving and warehousing.
This report will address developments pertaining to modernization of existing installed technologies, specifically mobile, data capture, material handling, and wearable computing solutions, as well as investment in emerging areas such as robotics and AR. The data made available from all of these solutions is what will generate a smart, connected warehouse that will enable end users' supply chains to be nimble; offer consistent throughput; present real-time data, analytics, and intelligence; and build a customer-centric experience.