“That’s a predominant statistic,” says Norm Saenz, senior vice president and principal of TranSystems, a supply chain consulting firm and our partner for this survey. “It supports how tough economic times have controlled spending to less than $250,000 for a majority of respondents. That’s only good for minor improvements to operations, such as racking or the purchase of a lift truck, versus opening a new facility or implementing new technologies.”
However, Don Derewecki, senior management consultant also from TranSystems, prefers to focus on the other end of the spectrum: those 17% of respondents who are spending $1 million or more this year, and another 16% planning to spend that same amount next year.
“That’s for significant projects—an indicator that companies are doing more than just replacing worn out equipment,” says Derewecki. “These stronger companies have diligent managers who have probably been continuously shaving points off their operating costs over the past few years. By now all the low hanging fruit is gone, so they’re starting to get more aggressive and finally looking to squeeze the trigger on investments in mechanization and automation.”
Over the next few pages, we’ll dig into the high-level findings of the 2012 Warehouse and Distribution Center (DC) Operations Survey to share more detail on how the warehousing and distribution landscape has changed over the past year. This year we’ve updated portions of the survey to capture emerging trends while continuing to track the critical measures of warehousing activities we’ve charted over the past six years. Let’s see how your operations compare to what your peers are doing inside the four walls.
Read last year’s survey.
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The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 55.7 in April (a level of 50 or higher indicates growth), which was up 1.2 percent compared to March, with economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector growing for the 75th consecutive month. The April PMI is 0.5 percent above the 12-month average of 56.2.
Inventory donations protect brands, avoid waste and support schools, churches, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations.
Robotics is the fastest growing industrial sector for PCs, followed by materials-handling equipment.
Acquisition to expand pharmaceutical packaging capabilities and integrated solution offering.
2016 Manufacturing Report from professional services firm Sikich explores ways to address challenges and position manufacturers for long-term growth.