CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
Technology
June 18, 2019
Forward Thinking

Warehouse robotics on the rise

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Study shows an 18 percent increase in testing of warehouse robotics in 2019.

Robotics are on the rise in the warehouse, according to a new study from supply chain and business intelligence firm eyefortransport (eft), released this month.

With the trend toward warehouse automation well underway, eft asked supply chain executives at retail and manufacturing organizations about their use of robotics as part of its Global Customer Report 2019. The results revealed an 18 percent year-over-year increase in the testing of warehouse robotics, with 25 percent of the 100 companies surveyed saying they are testing robotics in a limited number of warehouses this year.

The study also showed that while the barriers to implementing warehouse robotics have not changed, most organizations say they are easing. Customers still struggle with the cost, justifying return-on-investment (ROI) calculations, and understanding where or how to start implementing robotic warehouse solutions, but to a lesser degree over the past year. As concerns, eft said ROI calculations decreased by 15 percent and understanding where or how to start decreased by 18 percent. Cost was down by 10 percent, the study authors said. They also cited improvement in finding the right robotics supplier: In 2018, 11 percent of organizations said that finding the right supplier was a barrier to implementing warehouse robotics, compared to just 2 percent in 2019.

"With the barriers decreasing dramatically this past year, the field remains optimistic that warehouse robotics will be the future for accurate, timely and organized operations that allow a better experience for customers," the survey authors said.

Eyefortransport surveyed 100 supply chain executives from retail and manufacturing organizations across North America and Europe for its Global Customer Report 2019.

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