Other trends that will continue to affect the warehousing and DC space include:
- Picking to move into the after-markets parts space, i.e., applying picking for forklift applications and implementing it into areas such as packing operations.
- Total solutions across the entire distribution center—including capturing data at the point of harvest and throughout the transportation process—will be a key target with the final mandate of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) set for finalization in December 2012. As a result, there is a potential increase of RFID technology adoption to target traceability issues.
- Cloning adoption to drive efficiencies for complete integration and interoperability between devices deployed in such warehousing and DC areas.
As operators continue to look for ways to address inefficiencies in their warehouse and DC space and transportation workflows, rugged and mobile solutions and new strategies will have to be put in place. Is there a long road ahead of them in doing so? Perhaps, as labor shifts continue with seasonality changes. But as the old adage goes—if you don’t keep up with the times, you may get left behind. And that is a risk that warehouse and DC operations cannot afford to take.
Stay tuned for a closer look at how new technologies and strategies are changing the warehouse and DC space. More to come in February 2013.