How to digitalise warehouses and distribution centres

Posted: 15 November 2022 | | No comments yet

Find out more from Endava about why, if transportation and logistics businesses don’t embrace their automation initiatives fully, they won’t be able to harness the full potential to increase speed and lower error rates.

How to digitalise warehouses and distribution centres

This Transportation & Logistics (T&L) Insights series is based on research by Levvel, who joined the Endava family in 2021. The team surveyed over 500 U.S.-based companies who procure transportation and logistics services internally and externally to get their views on their challenges, needs and use of digital technology solutions.

While companies often perceive technology innovation to mean things like high-end robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and fully autonomous vehicles, there are many elements in the supply chain that can be modernised without requiring great effort or cost, while still providing the competitive edge that T&L companies are looking for. In this series, we will present current industry challenges and discuss how digital technology can help to reduce friction, enhance efficiency and provide a better experience for businesses and their customers.

The current state of technology in warehouse and distribution centres

The supply chain is under unprecedented pressure, and the failure to meet growing customer demands is stressing operations from beginning to end. This is, in part, because the T&L industry still relies heavily on manual labour, as well as legacy methods of managing cargo, such as paper and fax.

According to our survey, over 40 per cent of companies are being held back by a lack of automation. And, while there are concerns about the cost of upgrading facilities, the return on investment (ROI) is immense. Digital automation is a good example of a crucial upgrade. It relies on non-physical technologies, such as data and software, to manage facilities, helping to reduce costly human error and increase transparency.

Not all warehouses and distribution centres can employ the same automation strategies but, usually, starting with something is better than nothing.

Of the 560 companies surveyed, 75 per cent had already implemented or were planning to implement some sort of automation initiative. Yet, only 14 per cent answered that over half of their warehouse capabilities were being automated – and that still leaves a lot of room for error.

The piecemeal approach that many facilities take deserves a closer look. For example, 60 per cent of companies had implemented control towers to oversee operations within the supply chain. And, yet, 80 per cent still relied on legacy tools like emails, phone calls and spreadsheets, as well. If businesses don’t embrace their automation initiatives fully, they won’t be able to harness the full potential to increase speed and lower error rates.

Find out more about the benefits of digitalising warehouse and distribution centres from Endava by clicking the link below:


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