A recent study by Honeywell and YouGov indicates the substantial impact e-commerce demands have on warehouse design and technology adoption. The survey respondents included hundreds of logistics, DC and IT professionals across the US and Europe. The survey predicts that adoption of mobile and voice-recognition solutions will increase in the next five years. The technology provides distribution centers with order fulfillment accuracy and the ability to quickly satisfy customer service requests.

New technologies are aimed to reduce costly picking errors that happen on account of human error. The survey reveals that the average cost of one picking error is $59, and distribution centers lose as much as $400,000 every year on this issue.

Workers can’t be fast and observant enough to keep up with the increased speed of same-day delivery, and it leads to substantial losses. In order to maintain omni-channel fulfillment strategy, DCs need to enhance an operation’s speed and accuracy. Technologies like mobile computers, scanners, printers and wireless headsets help capture reliable data to keep operations precise.

“Consumers want their purchases delivered as quickly as possible, which puts extreme pressure on distribution center operators to deliver the right products to the right place at the right time,” says Bruce Stubbs, ‎director of industry marketing in Honeywell. “Connected workers using mobile solutions with data capture technology offer higher accuracy and productivity and have a positive impact on the bottom line.” 

The problem with omni-channel distribution isn’t new; most of surveyed companies` DCs fulfill orders both from offline retailers and online purchases. They utilize asset tracking systems and data visibility solutions to manage the intricate fulfillment process.

84% of respondents agreed that data capture technology has enhanced their omni-channel fulfillment strategy.

Voice direction solutions also prove to be effective; wireless headsets allow verbal commands in management and can add one hour of work per-person each month.

With positive results in mind, DCs are going to invest further in tech solutions.

According to Juniper Research, global online retailer sales are going to reach $1.7 trillion by the end of 2015, which is 17% higher than 2014’s total. As we have already reviewed in recent posts, e-commerce growth makes same-day delivery and omni-channel fulfillment decisive factors for retailers who want to be competitive. More online retailers are looking for ways to reduce the time-to-consumer when offering same-day delivery or several delivery options for their customers. For them, using technology that enables data capture and visibility is crucial.

Read More:

E-commerce and Unpredictable Demand

Quick Guide to Omni-Channel Fulfillment