APAC business leaders adopt new technology to support growth driven by on-demand economy

Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, has announced the results of its latest Warehousing Asia Pacific Vision Study.

The study analyzes IT and operations decision makers from manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, post and parcel delivery, and wholesale distribution industries and their current and planned strategies to modernize warehouses, distribution centers and fulfillment centers.

“Warehousing, distribution and fulfilment operations are undergoing a modern-day makeover as they transform to meet the growing needs of the world’s on-demand economy. Warehouse leaders today are turning to technology to address critical business challenges caused by this global phenomenon by adopting advanced technology and empowering their workers with a performance edge,” said Zebra Technologies APAC Vertical Solutions Lead of Manufacturing and Transportation & Logistics Aik Jin Tan.

“Expanding space, implementing new processes and enhancing workflows are only part of the equation. By 2024, warehouse leaders will be shifting their focus to the integration of more holistic solutions to build data-powered environments that balance labor and automation in the warehouse, ultimately empowering frontline workers with a performance edge to lead the way,” Tan added.

The study reports on the forward-thinking fulfillment strategies that companies are focusing on to keep up with the growth of the on-demand economy. Both automation and worker augmentation solutions will be a key focus for decision makers’ plans over the next five years. More than three-quarters (81%) of   respondents agree that augmenting workers with technology is the best way to introduce automation in the warehouse, but only 34 percent have a clear understanding of where to start automating.  Currently, up to 88 percent of decision makers are either in the process of or are planning to expand the size of their warehouses by 2024. Meanwhile, up to 85 percent anticipate an increase in the number of warehouses during this time frame.

“Consumers today have seemingly insatiable demand for 24/7 product search and purchase. The ‘I want it now’ mentality of consumers stretches across all industries and has since upended the supply chain, impacting manufacturers, retailers and the warehousing operations that serve their needs,” said Zebra Country Head for the Philippines Tracy Yeo.  “Our study further revealed that 49 percent of the surveyed decision makers reported an increase in consumer demand as a top driver of growth, with almost 40 percent of those surveyed stating that shorter order lead times are fueling their expansion plans and causing them to rethink their strategies,” Yeo added.

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

By 2024, automation will enhance worker performance rather than replace workers.

  • Seventy percent of respondents believe human interaction is part of their optimal balance in warehousing, with 43 percent citing partial automation (some human involvement) and 27 percent citing augmentation (equipping workers with devices) as their preference.
  • Decision makers anticipate using robotics for inbound inventory management (27%), packing (24%) and goods in/receiving (21%) by 2024.

Rethinking fulfillment strategies and operations to meet emerging challenges across the warehouse remains a top priority.

  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents cited capacity utilization as one of their top expected challenges over the next five years.
  • Sixty-eight percent of organizations cited labor recruitment and/or labor efficiency and productivity among their top challenges, with 62 percent of respondents saying they want to improve individual worker or team productivity while also achieving workflow conformity.
  • As warehouses expand, so will the volume of stock keeping units (SKUs) and the speed by which items need to be shipped. Decision makers will seek increased visibility and productivity by implementing more robust returns management operations (85%), task interleaving (85%), value-added services (84%) and third-party logistics (88%).

The investment and implementation of new technologies are critical for remaining competitive in the on-demand economy.

SURVEY BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY

The 2024 Warehousing Vision Study by Qualtrics interviewed 1,403 (of which 352 were from APAC) IT and operational decision makers in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, post and parcel delivery and wholesale distribution markets in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

About Zebra

Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers the front line of business in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare and other industries to achieve a performance edge. With more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries, we deliver industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that intelligently connect people, assets and data to help our customers make business-critical decisions. Our market-leading solutions elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory as well as improve supply chain efficiency and patient care. Ranked on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for the last four years, Zebra helps our customers capture their edge. For more information, visit www.zebra.com or sign up for news alerts. Participate in our Your Edge blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  

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