Warehouse Workers Notice Positive Workplace Changes

Distribution Warehouses

(Loss Prevention Magazine article summary)

Zebra Technologies’ Mark Wheeler, Director of Supply Chain Solutions and Jim Lawton, Vice President and General Manager, Robotics and Automation talk with the team at Loss Prevention Magazine about the most compelling findings from Zebra’s 2022 Warehouse Vision Study.

We’re listing down some highlights from the study:

The pandemic and technology

  • Nearly 90 percent of warehouse operators agree they must implement new technology to be competitive in the on-demand economy.
  • 80 percent confirm the pandemic prompted them to evolve and modernize more quickly.
  • 80 percent of warehouse operators agree they will have to rely more on automation in the future.

Challenges

  • Respondents indicate that shipping volumes have increased more than 20 percent on average over the past two years and that they are having a harder time getting customer orders out the door on time than they did three years ago, and are struggling to maintain inventory accuracy and visibility.
  • 80 percent expect to increase the number of stock-keeping units (SKU) they carry and the volume of shipped items.
  • While 61 percent of warehouse operators want to increase headcount within the next year to right-size their workforces, they admit finding and training workers in a timely manner remain big challenges.

Innovation and the workforce

  • 92 percent of warehouse associates agree that technology advancements will make the warehouse environment more attractive to workers.
  • 80 percent of warehouse associates say walking fewer miles per day would make their jobs more enjoyable, even if they had to pick or handle more items, and many strongly believe autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) could make warehouse jobs less stressful.
  • 80 percent of associates say that AMRs have helped increase productivity and reduce walking/travel time, while 73 percent of associates report that AMRs reduce errors and 65 percent see AMRs as enablers for advancement to new roles or opportunities. 83 percent claim they are more likely to work for an employer that gives them modern devices to use for tasks.

Warehouse technology forecast

  • 79 percent of decision-makers and 84 of associates are concerned they will not meet their business objectives unless more technology investments are made to improve operations.
  • 60 percent decision-makers say they will invest in technologies that increase inventory and asset visibility within their warehouses and overall visibility throughout supply chains over the next five years.
  • 90 percent expect their use of sensor-based technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID), computer vision, fixed industrial scanning, and machine vision systems to become more prevalent over the next five years.

“Right now, decision-makers feel the most important labor initiative is to reduce unnecessary tasks so associates can focus on more customer-centric work. If warehouse operators automate through AMRs and workflow optimization software, it will be easier to scale operations and meet service level agreements as customer demands and labor availability fluctuate.” Jim Lawton, Vice President and General Manager, Robotics and Automation, Zebra Technologies.

You can read the full story from Loss Prevention Magazine here.

SHARE NOW
More Articles from the Fetch Blog