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The Visible Value Blog

The new mobile warehouse: rising to meet the challenge of today’s changing logistics

Posted by Steve Northcott

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June 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM



The customer has always been king. But thanks to the rise in online shopping, he or she is now an absolute dictator. If their order is not fulfilled perfectly and delivered, ideally, next day, they will soon take their business elsewhere.


It’s this growing customer power which lies behind the drivers for change in the warehouse, revealed by respondents to Zebra Technologies’  Warehouse Vision survey on the future of warehousing in 2018:


  • 48.5% want to enhance customer service
  • 34.5% to achieve shorter delivery times
  • 30.8% to improve order turnaround time
  • 61.6% to reduce out-of-stock conditions
  • 49.4% to improve labour performance and productivity.


The lean, real-time warehouse

Though these changes are taking place in the warehouse, what happens there doesn’t stay there. Forward-looking businesses are well aware that the productivity and efficiency of warehouse operations has an effect throughout the entire enterprise, and ultimately on overall profitability.


Today’s warehouse cannot simply be a storage space, but needs to be a catalyst for business growth – improving the visibility of information, addressing business-critical needs, and delivering a tangible return on investment.


To achieve this kind of lean, real-time facility demands true end-to-end mobile warehouse solutions:


  • enabling the workforce to access business data anywhere in the warehouse
  • enabling visibility over the entire supply chain
  • improving efficiency from the yard to the production line, dispatch, delivery, sales, and service.


70% of respondents to the Warehouse Vision survey plan to achieve these aims through the introduction of more automated processes, and 66% by introducing mobile handheld computers or tablets.


Moving forward with automation and mobility

The right automation and mobile warehouse solutions can streamline the workday, significantly improve worker productivity, and increase operational efficiency.


Automation, for example, has even wider implications, can offer a facility-wide view of operations that can accommodate up- and down-stream processes and events, to ease supply chain management and maximise error-free order fulfilment.


Zebra’s warehouse solutions can provide real-time information and advanced data capture, enabling comprehensive automation to drive time, error and operation costs out of the warehouse. They can also integrate with ERP systems to meet the challenges of increasing volumes and shorter timescales, with no loss of order or picking accuracy. At the same time – using technology such as bar code scanners and mobile computers – data collection can be improved, providing essential information for regulatory compliance and more efficient inventory management.


The Zebra Solution Brief addresses the challenge of meeting today’s changing logistics. It offers practical insights into the available technologies that deliver real-time visibility, to:


  • enhance accuracy
  • improve productivity
  • maximise customer satisfaction.


To discover more about the path to the new mobile warehouse, download the Solution Brief.


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