Why 2023 is the year for automated technology in warehouses
As the world becomes increasingly reliant on ecommerce, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers alike are looking for ways to keep up with the demands of online shoppers. With a shortage of labour and the need for streamlined processes, many companies are turning to automation as a solution. In fact, according to a recent survey by Logistics Management, 60% of businesses plan to invest in new equipment or upgrade their systems in the next 12 months.
But why now?
Competition is fierce
In today’s highly competitive environment, it’s not enough for businesses to simply maintain the status quo. They must continually innovate and improve to stay ahead of the competition. According to Deloitte’s Supply Chain Leadership analysis, 96% of businesses identify innovation as “extremely important” to growth. This means that businesses that fail to invest in technology risk falling behind their competitors quickly.
Automation boosts productivity
One of the biggest advantages of automation is its ability to drive productivity. According to research by Aberdeen Group, warehouses that use automated systems are 76% more likely to achieve inventory accuracy of 99% or higher. Additionally, these businesses are 36% more likely to reduce labour costs by an average of 3% per year and 40% more likely to consistently ship within one day of an order’s placement. The study found that best-in-class distribution operations were able to achieve 94% on-time deliveries, 1.5 times more often than average.
Automation saves costs
In addition to boosting productivity, automation can also save on operational costs. For example, automated systems can reduce the need for manual labour, which can be a significant expense. Additionally, automated systems can help reduce errors, which can lead to costly mistakes and lost revenue. By reducing costs and increasing efficiency, automation can help businesses improve their bottom line.
Uptake of automation is growing
With the benefits of automation becoming increasingly clear, more and more businesses are looking to adopt this technology. According to the same survey by Logistics Management, 45% of decision-makers are looking to invest in information hardware and software, while 18% are considering enterprise applications such as ERP and WMS. The same report also found that there is “less hesitancy” to introduce technology to operations this year, with fewer companies “holding off” on system decisions and fewer taking a “wait and see” approach.
The future is bright for automation
The market for warehouse automation is currently worth $2.54 billion and is predicted to grow further to hit $3.9 billion by 2025. As the benefits of automation become increasingly clear, more and more businesses will look to adopt this technology to stay competitive and improve their bottom line.
2023 is shaping up to be the year of automated technology in warehouses, and with competition fierce, productivity boosted, costs saved, and uptake growing, businesses that fail to adopt this technology risk being left behind.
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