2022 had us facing many challenges. Be it the skilled labor shortage, material scarcity, increasing freight prices or climate change – these challenges will also continue to keep us busy in 2023. So, we want to look at some concrete actions that will help logistics operations succeed and grow in the coming year. What will be the success factors for warehouse resource planning and optimization in 2023?
Latest technologies will continue to be essential for successfully optimizing warehouse operations. Artificial intelligence enables agility and flexibility on various levels in an environment of increased uncertainty.
One area of application is demand forecasting. It helps operations to adapt processes easier and faster to unforeseen events and peak times, and is seemingly a problem across the distribution and fulfillment space. Machine learning algorithms make it possible to calculate expected quantities based on historic data, growth factors and reference quantities. Fluctuations can be predicted, and resources can be planned more accurately. redPILOT developed a demand forecasting feature that calculates quantities for several weeks into the future. During a pilot project with a renown sporting goods manufacturer this approach has proven to bring good results. The store replenishment and e-com operation was able to increase planning quality and save costs.
Data utilization for better decision making
Demand forecasting is only one example of using data for better decision making. This topic will become increasingly important in the future. But to get better insights and utilize data in a meaningful way, you need to break up data silos. This means unifying data that is produced by the various systems (ERP, WCS, WMC, SCADA, etc.) in your warehouse. Having all information readily available in one place, will give you a holistic picture of your operation, and help to identify inefficiencies, manage costs, and make intelligent and timely decisions. The result is a clear picture of system demand, resources to fulfill that demand, and the performance which those resources are capable of. Consequently, managers and team leaders will be able to create optimized shift plans, detect and mitigate bottlenecks in real-time, and access mission critical KPIs and reports which help them to make better decisions.
Strategies to engage your workforce
New strategies and technologies will be required to attract and retain talent as labor shortages are predicted to continue. The main demands of employees are flexibility and well-being. The main concern for companies is to engage and motivate their workforce, because engaged employees simply serve customers better. More and more companies look into tools like gamification to keep their workforce motivated. This includes elements such as reward programs, leaderboards, or team recognition. Flexible shift models, shorter working hours and varying tasks further contribute to employee well-being. However, to allow for these measures, manual shift planning with spreadsheets won’t cut it anymore. You will need an innovative, automated solution like the redPILOT PLANNER for resource planning with a complete view into all aspects of your operation.
People perceive companies that work with latest technologies as innovative and more attractive. Furthermore, customers become increasingly interested in knowing the environmental impacts of the products they buy. So, investing in innovation and sustainability will contribute to a better company image. Besides customer demands, new regulations pressure logistics companies to implement more sustainable practices. The reduction of the CO2 footprint, better occupational safety, training for warehouse staff, and many more practices can even increase productivity. So, investing in economic, ecological, social sustainability best practices can improve performance and really pays off.
Innovative solutions will be the crux. Warehouse resource planning and optimization needs to be supported by the latest technologies to stay successful in fiercely competitive markets. redPILOT will support your logistics operation navigating today’s turbulent economy, while continuing to grow and optimize your processes.
Contact us to discuss further success factors.