In order to better compete with domestic and international businesses, companies in the South American nation of Argentina are ramping up their use of automated data collection systems to have more oversight over their expanding global supply chain, according to a recent survey from professional services company Ernst & Young.
Of the more than 30 enterprises polled, 91 percent said they have implemented a supply chain logistics management system. In addition, 40 percent indicated that they currently use a stand-alone warehouse management system, although the remaining 60 percent said their warehouse management strategy is handled by their enterprise resource planning software. Daily newspaper La Nacion also reported that more companies are adopting voice picking and speech recognition software to manage their supplies.
Additionally, Ernst & Young found that 77 percent of the enterprises surveyed with operations in Argentina have their own designated logistics facilities and 65 percent indicated that they supplement their own infrastructure with rental facilities.
Reasons for Using Data Collection Systems
Although there are many benefits to utilizing data capture software to boost logistics initiatives, Gustavo Di Capua, a senior manager at Ernst & Young, said companies operating in Argentina have boosted their investments primarily to more easily move goods around the country and around the world. Close to three-fourths of the businesses polled ranked transportation as a more significant concern than inventory management.
As Argentina's economy begins to grow again, companies operating in the country are becoming increasingly reliant on global trade to boost profit margins. Not only did the economic calamities originating in the United States and the European Union over the past five years hurt the nation's businesses, but a country-wide economic meltdown in 2001 crippled Argentine firms and the nation's domestic economy. As a result, companies in the country have had to reinvest in inventory control systems to better compete with other multinational firms.
However, if current economic trends hold true, this strategy appears to be paying off for Argentine businesses. The European Commission reported that Argentina is the EU's fourth largest export market and the U.S. State Department reported that American firms have invested close to $15 billion in Argentina. In 2011, trade between the countries was valued at $22 million.
Although these economic indicators are significant considering Argentina's recent history, companies operating in the country still have plenty of room for further growth. According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook, Argentina is only the world's 45th biggest export economy. If the country is to rise any further, companies and the national government need to invest more in infrastructure and supply chain optimization, La Nacion reported.