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This was the finding of a new survey of warehouse operators, carried out for Access Delta, a warehouse management system vendor, by Redshift Research.
The survey canvassed 132 operators across manufacturers, wholesalers and 3PL warehouse services providers.
Online ordering, pick-and-pack operations and wastage were found to be areas where companies are likely to be more successful at reducing their warehouse costs if they apply technology appropriately.
The survey finds that nearly a quarter of businesses now receive most or all of their orders online, and almost 50 percent receive half or more of their business this way. Making online ordering a smoother and more capable process from the back office is clearly one way to reduce costs. Growth in revenue and the ability to reach new customers are also reported.
The survey reveals that where firms are receiving a majority of orders online, they also tend to be advanced in their adoption of other technologies such as mobile and handheld devices, barcoding, RF communications and voice technology headsets. Such firms will probably employ a dedicated WMS.
Pick-and-pack operations are seen as a significant part of the business by over half of the firms surveyed - and others expect it to become so. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed reported growth in their pick-and-pack operations - and among 3PLs it is even more significant.
Yet just 11 percent of firms said that the IT controlling pick-and-pack was fully integrated "end-to-end", while 15 percent admitted that different systems, such as warehousing and invoicing, do not communicate.
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