The Top 3 current challenges facing organizations are rising energy costs (32%), increasing labor costs (27%), and supply chain and shipping constraints (26%), according to research from AutoStore.
“There is a need to operate more efficiently, which is perhaps why nearly nine in 10 organizations either have, or are planning to install, automation technology in their warehouse in 2023,” says Ellen Brune, head of global strategic accounts at AutoStore. “The intention to meet a challenging macro environment with a technology uptake is good news for customers who want their products quickly.”
- 44% of European respondents cited energy costs as a top challenge, compared to 24% of North American and Asia Pacific respondents.
- Conversely, rising labor costs are more of a concern in APAC (34%) and North America (27%), compared to Europe (22%).
- According to industry business leaders, the most important focus areas for 2023 are improving customer satisfaction levels (34%), investing in automation technology (31%), sustainable solutions (31%), greater workforce efficiency (31%) and delivering goods-to-person faster (30%).
- A large majority of respondents (88%) shared that they will implement an automated storage and retrieval system by 2024. 32% have some sort of automation technology in place already and 56% are making plans to deploy it in the next 12 months.
- Energy efficiency (55%), reducing waste (46%), employee well-being (43%), reducing storage footprint (39%), and recycling (36%) were the most important initiatives. Conversely, when asked what brands are looking for from AS/RS providers, sustainability decreased in priority (13%).
- In comparison, respondents cited reliability (24%), simplicity (22%), and space utilization (20%) as more important attributes. In fact, 43% said space saving/utilization will be mission critical to their business and 49% cited it as a very important business priority.
“Automation technology has shifted to where it is no longer a ‘nice to have’ in the warehouse, but an absolute must have,” says Marcus Mogéus, chief marketing officer at AutoStore. “This report shows that the investment plan for companies when it comes to automation technology has increased dramatically from previous reports.”