The survey of 250 supply chain and distribution center managers in North America, UK, France and Germany, also revealed:
Adoption of “reverse logistics” in the supply chain:
• 44 percent of distribution center managers admit that managing returned goods is a pain point within the business.
• Nearly 60 percent (57 percent) of distribution center managers experienced challenges when managing returned goods last year and have started to identify changes needed to get returned stock back into the supply chain as soon as possible.
• To combat this increasing strain of returned goods and minimize the impact of the holiday season to the bottom line, 60 percent of distribution center managers are turning to “reverse logistics” – the reverse management of stock to get items back into the supply chain as soon as possible.
Meeting short-term demands of the holiday season:
• To address short-term requirements during this busy period, 45 percent of warehouse managers view the leasing of hardware – also known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS) – as a cost-effective hardware solution for managing the peaks of service.
• With 72 percent of managers citing multifunctional devices as critical to ensuring worker flexibility and performance, HaaS is becoming an increasingly popular alternative for businesses looking to increase short term mobility.
Bruce Stubbs, Intermec Industry Marketing Director for Distribution Center Operations, said: “The holiday season is the busiest and most challenging time of the year for distribution operations, especially those engaged in business-to-consumer fulfillment. With challenging lead times, increased volumes, temporary staffing and the after-holiday deluge of returns, improving mobility solutions for the workforce becomes more critical than ever before if businesses are to meet customer demands and improve profitability.”