April 5, 2016

Forte identifies four megatrends for the distribution center

By DC Velocity Staff

The pace of change has been swift and sudden during the last five years in warehousing and distribution, and sometimes it can be hard for companies to keep up. Speaking from Modex, a supply chain and logistics expo presented by the industry association MHI, Tom Rentschler, vice president of marketing and business development for Forte, a warehouse automation and warehouse execution software company, identified four megatrends that professionals in the field should be watching and make sure their companies are addressing.

  • E-commerce. E-commerce continues to grow rapidly not only for business-to-consumer industries but also for business-to-business industries, according Rentschler. "No one is investing in traditional store fulfillment operations anymore," he said. Instead companies are looking closely at automation that can help them keep up with the growth in online orders and the need for multichannel fulfillment.
  • Robotics. "Robots in the warehouse is not just a fantasy," said Rentschler. While it may take five to seven more years, distribution centers will start to make significant investments in robotic solutions. Robotics may also help ease some of the industry's pain around labor costs and finding and retaining workers.
  • Warehouse execution software will continue to be a hot area, as companies continue to find benefits to merge their warehouse management systems and warehouse control systems capabilities.
  • The Internet of things, also known as "Industry 4.0," will increasingly play an important role in warehouse operations. Just as manufacturing firms are moving toward the "smart factory" concept, so too will more companies be investigating how they can create "smart warehouses."

For more information, see the Forte website.

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