Softeon conducted a survey of some of the biggest retailers and how they feel about distribution systems including what challenges they are facing and the type of automation they're using as well as not using.
A big proponent is rising distribution costs caused by inflation. Workers want more money, materials cost more money, goods cost more money....well everything is just more expensive now. All we can do is wait for everything to balance out at the moment.
Additionally, e-commerce has exploded over the past couple of years due to the pandemic, creating hurdles for e-commerce fulfillment. Then also add to that the rise in customization and product-as-a-service, well then there's quite the struggle that companies are facing.
Labor shortages, rising costs, and ever-shrinking cycle times are now forcing companies to optimize and automate distribution processes. This isn't bad as companies have quite the array of tech to choose from including sortation, goods-to-person picking, robotics, voice-to-pick, and more. But how do companies view these technologies and which of these technologies are actually useful to them?
That's exactly what Sofeton got answers to in its 2022 State of Distribution Technologies survey. Softeon used its own internal database along with the readership of two leading supply chain publications, garnering 187 usable responses. While not a huge data sample, it does provide some interesting insight into what these companies are using, looking at, and what they feel the greatest challenges are.
There were respondents from virtually every vertical industry, so the percentage of any individual sector was small, but retail led the way at 18.2% of the total, followed by third-party logistics (14.6%), consumer goods (11.5%), and wholesale distribution (9.1%).
Click through the slideshow to see the key takeaways surrounding views on DC automation and related technologies.