Executive Briefings

Flexibility Trumps Speed

In the past, warehouses invested in highly automated and highly engineered material handling systems that were designed to provide the fastest possible picking for a particular business's needs. However, a host of market pressures are causing the activities inside the warehouse to change rapidly. SKU proliferation, variety of pack sizes, product lifecycle volatility, and a shift to direct-to-consumer business have rendered many highly engineered systems ineffective or obsolete. Today's distribution centers are designed around a concept of flexibility rather than around finding the perfect solution to a precise business problem that may change tomorrow.

-Ian Hobkirk, senior analyst, Supply Chain Execution, AberdeenGroup

In the past, warehouses invested in highly automated and highly engineered material handling systems that were designed to provide the fastest possible picking for a particular business's needs. However, a host of market pressures are causing the activities inside the warehouse to change rapidly. SKU proliferation, variety of pack sizes, product lifecycle volatility, and a shift to direct-to-consumer business have rendered many highly engineered systems ineffective or obsolete. Today's distribution centers are designed around a concept of flexibility rather than around finding the perfect solution to a precise business problem that may change tomorrow.

-Ian Hobkirk, senior analyst, Supply Chain Execution, AberdeenGroup