As the economy continues its slow recovery, things are continuing to look up for businesses in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. The Institute for Supply Management, also known as the ISM, said its index for national factory activity rose to 57.3 last month, according to Reuters. The number is a two-and-a-half-year high, and any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
Increased Activity Calls for New Technology
While the recovery has been slow, the pace is clearly faster for some industries than others. Upbeat numbers for factory growth suggest that the distribution centers that supply them with parts should also expect an increase in business. E-commerce shopping during the holiday season it also likely to increase activity at warehouses.
To help prepare for the current rise in production and to stay ahead of the curve, managers should consider investing in new technologies that improve the supply chain.
- Increase safety: A busier warehouse increases the chances of worker injury, which can be costly. One way to help employees stay safe on the job is with voice picking software. This state-of-the-art technology allows workers to keep their eyes and hands free of distractions so they are more alert.
- Reduce errors: Speech recognition software also reduces errors by as much as 90 percent with check digits that confirm workers are pulling the correct orders.
- Inventory control: Data collection systems that update to existing ERP systems in real time can help managers track stock from the moment it enters the warehouse until it leaves. The data can help make sure stock is rotated in a timely manner if necessary and improves inventory predictions.
While growing demand is usually a good thing, it can cost organizations in the long run if they are not prepared to meet them. New data collection technology can help supply chain managers keep their organizations operating efficiently and accurately, even during times of increased activity.