2014’s Top Warehousing Industry Trends: Integration, Voice, and Robotics
By Jeff Byma
Upp Technology 3PL Expert Discusses Major Industry Trends at the Technology & Operations Solutions for Warehousing Conference
Speaking on a panel of WMS Technology Solutions experts, Upp Technology President Jim Laverty highlighted 2014’s biggest trends to watch for in the 3PL industry. In the deep dive discussion of the technologies necessary for successfully running a warehouse-based 3PL, the biggest trend identified for the coming year was Integration.
“Integration is a key priority for 3PLs in 2014. It will become even more vital for 3PLs to connect their real-time logistics data to all of their other systems. Failure to integrate will result in inefficiencies on the warehouse floor, disruptions in customer service, and ultimately, lost revenue.”
“3PLs need to become the central hub of information for their customers. Previously, this was a value added service for customers, but now it is an essential part of closing new business and retaining current clients. It also invites the opportunity for a competitor to steal your clients with cheaper prices. Because the information customers are able to pull from their 3PL is so valuable, switching becomes much less likely and far beyond a simple price cut.”
Laverty also discussed how the process, timing, and costs of integration have made it a much easier process today than ever before.
“What used to be a long, arduous, and costly process is now quick, simple, and significantly less expensive than in the past. At Upp Technology, our irms|WM Integration Toolset, powered by Talend, transforms and integrates data from any business system in a matter of days instead of months. The cost of integration has also dramatically decreased due to open-source integration toolsets that are more powerful and accurate than was possible in the past.”
In addition to Integration, Laverty also discussed how RFID, Voice Automation, and Robotics will continue to grow in popularity among 3PLs as Warehouse Management Systems become more and more flexible.
“The increasing sophistication of true cloud platforms like irms|360 Enterprise allows 3PLs to easily add advanced technology to their facilities. With the advanced technology of the cloud and the cost savings, more and more 3PLs are able to add Robotics and Voice automation to their warehouse and have an immediate, measurable impact on productivity.”
The International Warehouse Logistics Association Technology & Operations Solutions for Warehousing Conference occurred November 6 & 7, 2013 in Chicago, IL. The Conference focused on helping technology and operations professionals make their warehouses more efficient and more profitable.