AutoStore has published a new benchmarking report with feedback from over 300 warehouse management business leaders. Respondents indicated that the top three challenges facing organizations today are rising energy costs (32%), rising wages (27%) and supply chain and transportation constraints (26%). Therefore, cost reduction and investment in automation technology are among the priorities.
"There is a need to operate more efficiently, which is perhaps why nearly nine out of ten organizations have, or are planning to install, automation technology in their warehouses," said Ellen Brune, Global Strategic Account Director at AutoStore. "The proposition of responding to a challenging macroeconomic environment through technology adoption is certainly good news for customers who need to have their products in stock sooner rather than later."

For the report, AutoStore surveyed executives in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. European respondents (44%) cited energy costs as the top challenge, compared to North America and Asia-Pacific (24%). In contrast, rising wages are more of a concern in APAC (34%) and North America (27%) than in Europe (22%).

According to industry executives, the most important focus areas for 2023 are improving customer satisfaction (34%), automation (31%), sustainable solutions (31%), increasing labor efficiency (31%), and delivering goods faster to customers (30%).

The vast majority of respondents (88%) said they will implement an automated storage and tracking system by 2024. 32% already have some form of automation technology in place and 56% plan to implement it in the next 12 months. "Automation technology has evolved to the point where it is no longer a 'want' but an absolute 'must' for a warehouse," says Marcus Mog├ęus, marketing director at AutoStore. "This report shows that the forecast for companies to invest in technology and automation has increased dramatically compared to previous reports."

The report shows that nearly one in three business leaders in the sector cite sustainability as a key priority for 2023. Energy efficiency (55%), waste reduction (46%), employee well-being (43%), reducing the impact of storage (39%), and recycling (36%) were the most important initiatives. In contrast, when asked what companies expect from AS/RS suppliers, there was a decline in priority for sustainability (13%).

In comparison, respondents cited trust (24%), ease of usage (22%), and space efficiency (20%) as the most important attributes. In fact, 43% said that space saving/utilization is key to their business and 49% considered it a very important priority.

"Space is of utmost importance to organizations. We help companies reduce costs, increase performance, and achieve a full return on investment within one to three years while reducing storage space by 75% compared to conventional storage," says Ellen Brune. "Optimizing space is closely linked to increasing costs."

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This article is republished as part of a partnership with Supply Chain Magazine. Read the original here.

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Published in 
10/8/2023
 in the area of 
Supply Chain & Operations

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