Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Supply Chain Software Survey: Off the fence and into the future

Modern readers evaluate their usage of materials handling software technology, its value to their organizations, and spending plans for expanding and updating existing applications.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
May 01, 2013

Challenges decline
This year’s survey asked readers about the challenges they anticipate or have experienced when implementing materials handling software applications. Of 11 top concerns, 10 saw fewer respondents indicate them as problems. The only one to increase two years in a row was the likelihood of corporate or management approval.

Last year, many readers were uncertain whether new systems would yield results, doubting whether process efficiencies would improve (2012: 39%; 2013: 29%), or whether they had the resources to implement, manage or maintain the systems (2012: 38%; 2013: 29%).
At the top of this year’s list of concerns is “integration with existing software applications.” In 2012, 50% of readers said this had been or was likely to be a sticking point. This year, just 43% are worried. Concerns over the total cost of ownership dropped by a similar margin, from 42% last year to 33% in 2013.

Usage of software applications
This year’s larger respondent base seems to have influenced the percentage of readers who claim to have certain software applications in use. In terms of warehouse management systems (WMS) alone, last year, 67% of readers said they had a WMS in use, but this year that figure was just 57%. As an indicator of the overall potential market for WMS, Hill says the smaller number is likely much more accurate. As with last year, the same 36% plan to evaluate WMS in the next 24 months.

Adoption and interest in warehouse control systems (WCS) stayed largely the same since last year, with slightly more claiming to have one in place (31%) and slightly fewer expressing interest (21%). Supply chain management and planning software jumped two full ranks from the fourth most adopted software application to second, with 37% of readers having deployed it.

Asset tracking software also enjoyed a bump from 20% utilization last year to 25%. Slotting software, which last year drew 11% interest and 14% adoption, is this year 7% for both. Presented with eight different software applications in the survey, 11% of readers said they had installed none of them, and 28% said they had no interest in any. These readers might have concluded they will not benefit from these systems, or might have already installed them.

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Zebra gains instant access to complimentary technologies. But first, it needs to integrate a former partner that is 2-1/2 times its size.

Distribution requirements are changing. Few distribution managers would quibble with that statement. The increase in the demand for mixed cases, mixed cartons, aisle ready pallets and, most importantly, the increase in the volume of e-commerce orders is driving new levels of investment in automation.

MDT works with Mitsubishi Electric to ensure technical competence in providing change management support for Mitsubishi Electric Automation products.

This fully updated 7th edition of the “Belt Conveyors for Bulk Materials”, is a must have source book for end users, designers, engineers, manufacturers and consultants.

While we've been focusing on the warehouse, the next evolution in e-commerce is the last mile delivery and in-store fulfillment. It could be the break brick-and-mortar has been looking for.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA