As the economy begins to show signs of a resurgence, companies are increasingly finding themselves turning to supply chain software to make the most out of limited advanced warehouse space.
Over the past five years, few new warehouses were built as global economic players dealt with financial fallout, a mortgage crisis and an international market slowdown. As the global economy begins to pick up steam and as retailers are noticing increased demand though, there is no longer enough warehouse space fitted with the latest data gathering technologies and optimized infrastructure to go around. For example, Retail Week reported that while 58 million square feet of new warehouse space was built in the United Kingdom between 2005 and 2008, only 2.5 million square feet was constructed in the country from 2009 through last year.
To cope with this lack of available updated space, Retail Week reported that companies are more than ever looking to data collection tools and supply chain software that allows them to maximize whatever space is available. The food service industry in particular is driving this dynamic focus, putting a greater emphasis on distribution centers.
"The whole supply chain is continuing to evolve," Andrew Griffiths, managing director of U.K. warehousing developer Prologis, told the news source. "Grocers are pushing the evolution of the supply chain and they are the ones who can commit to the locations they want. As an industry they're relentlessly trying to drive stock through the supply chain and improve how quickly they can replenish and get stock to the point of sale. This is changing the nature of demand and impacting the specifications of the facilities and the physical nature of the buildings themselves."
To Maximize Supply Chain Management Efforts, Turn to Barcode Scanners
Companies looking to make the most of their warehouses and their supply chain as a whole should turn to barcode tracking software. TechTarget contributor Beth Stackpole wrote in a December 2012 article that even though barcode software is not a new technology, it is a proven, reliable and cost effective way to keep tabs on goods in the warehouse and in transit. While there are many data collection tools available, only barcode tracking software delivers the highest return on investment.
"The reality is the bar code is the standard, and it has been for a long time," said Simon Ellis, practice director of global supply chain strategies at IDC Manufacturing Insights, according to TechTarget. "It's established, it's ubiquitous, it's cheap, and for the many things it serves, it is more than sufficient. There are newer approaches and technologies that have attempted to usurp its dominance, but they haven't ultimately brought value to the situation."