In the fast-paced supply chain management and warehousing sector, things never stand still. Increasing consumer demands around delivery times are forcing the industry to change and develop quickly.
It’s only in quite recent times that customers have demanded next-day and same-day delivery. Since then we have become even more demanding, and requiring a specific one-hour delivery slot seems the norm now.
In fact, we’ve become so demanding that, according to Internet Retailing, the longest a customer is prepared to wait in a physical queue is just less than seven minutes.
So the warehousing industry needs to continue to develop at a fast pace to keep up with demand. Here are a few trends that you will see developing over the next twelve months.
Central to any marketing strategy is segmentation of your customer base. Using data collected about their shopping habits and promotions which trigger a response, for example, can help to create a profile. Armed with this profile, a warehouse can tailor its process to better meet the demands of each individual segment.
In a similar vein, analysing data collected from systems across the supply chain will become ever more critical to prepare accurate forecasts of demand and be forewarned of potential problems. This will be especially useful for inventory control.
A Move to the Cloud
We will see more and more warehouse businesses moving their software to the cloud on a pay-per-user model. This cuts down on expensive up-front costs for software while ensuring data security and accessibility even on the go.
Technology on the Move
Historically, inventory control and stocktaking have been paper-based exercises, but this can be quite cumbersome, particularly when stock is stored at great heights in pallet racking. More and more in warehousing, employees will be provided with a device that they wear that is connected to the main system as part of the Internet of Things.
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Going Around in Circles
In this more environmentally conscious world the supply chain is no longer a straight line. The traditional raw materials to finished goods supply chain has gone, and increasingly products are recycled and made into something else, creating a circular rather than linear supply chain.