Agile Logistics: Transforming the Distribution Center

BOSTON--A new research report by Robert Shecterle, Brad Wyland, Melissa Spinks of the Aberdeen Group, indicates more automation in the distribution center will offer businesses a competitive advantage.

The pressure to effectively support fluctuating supply and demand without increasing staff or warehouse space is driving supply chain professionals tomake the warehouse an agile and flexible part of their supply chain that canrespond quickly to business changes.

Improved logistics agility provides a company with a leg up on the competition in at least two major ways: by making full use of the resources on an order-by-order basis, and by intelligently positioning and configuring those resources in the short-term to better meet impending demand. As a result of these dynamics, alofty 97% of the 150 companies surveyed in May 2008 revealed that they plan to improve warehouse operations in the next 24 months, with 56% of Best-in-Class companies planning to improve warehouse operation over the next 12 months. This report examines how supply chain organizations are aligning their warehouse operations with business objectives by improving core processes, implementing or upgrading warehouse management software and mobile technologies, and extending their technology footprints to lower labor costs and improve performance through increased agility.

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