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Invest in Warehouse Technology

Advice from true warehouse experts

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PathGuide Technologies • 22745 29 th Drive SE, Suite #150, Bothell, WA 98021 • PH: 425-438-2899 • TF: 888-627-9797 • www.pathguide.com Conventional wisdom tells us that your customers and workforce expect you to reinvest those profits back into the business to keep pace with the digital transformations sweeping across industries (your own included). Contrary to those beliefs, a surprising number of distributors still rely on paper-based picking methods in their warehouse operations. Maybe you've looked at making technological investments in the business, but let's be honest: it can be exhausting to evaluate the seemingly countless options available. Not only that, but employees will require training on any new systems or technology and – oh yeah – these investments cost money. There's a good chance you've looked at software like a warehouse execution system (WES), warehouse control system (WCS) or warehouse management system (WMS) to track and control the movement and storage of materials in your warehouse. But inertia is a powerful force, and for all the reasons mentioned above, it's more comfortable to continue with business as usual. That said, here are three reasons you may want to reconsider investing in your business, and a bonus piece of advice to make the process of selecting the right technology investment smoother. Prospective employees have grown up using technology for most of their lives. They expect to use it at work as well. Your workforce and the labor shortage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of a warehouse worker today is 36.5 years old. In other words, there is a very good chance that you have a significant number of millennials and younger Generation Z employees working for you today. Given the staffing shortages that many distributors are facing, your old-school business practices may be making it even more challenging to attract and retain workers. All things being equal, and if the pay is the same, who do you think that prospective new hire would rather work for: your conventional paper-based operation or the technology-driven warehouse down the road? Knowing that a majority of current or prospective employees have grown up using technology for most of their lives, they expect to use it at work as well. Who wants to work for a company where you're still required to use paper picklists when your competitors are using RF computers, handheld bar code scanners and even voice picking? Public perception of your company . This is otherwise known as the hidden costs of your customers' experience. Like the competitive disadvantages that a reliance on antiquated business practices can have on recruiting new employees, it's equally important to consider the message you're sending to your customers and suppliers. It's hard to understand why a distributor would continue to put up with manual processes that result in picking errors, shipping delays and customer complaints.

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