A Year in Review: How Warehouses Navigated 2022’s Labor Challenges
Dec 20, 2022
A lot has happened in the supply chain industry this year that has challenged supply decision-makers. Warehousing, manufacturing, retail, field service, cold chain, T&L, and other industries have all had to deal with evolving challenges throughout this year. It’s interesting and important to review these challenges to prepare for the new year and improve scalability going forward. Some of the following challenges could continue to put pressure on decision-makers. Throughout 2022, supply chains have had to deal with:
- Labor shortages - Many businesses dealt with economic trends where employees have voluntarily resigned from jobs, the challenge was optimizing workflows to be ready for consumer demands with little labor help.
- Shifting consumer demands - For most of the year, consumer demands were high and forced businesses to establish faster and more accurate shipping. Businesses that lack inventory accuracy and a visible supply chain can be unable to meet consumer demands. Since then, consumers still expect fast and accurate shipping, but the high demands have cooled off.
- Overstocking - When consumer demands from the start of the year cooled off, businesses that ordered excess stock to prepare for them suffered from overstocking. Businesses that thought ordering more stock to manage higher consumer demands ended up with stock levels that were too high during low consumer demands.
- Accelerated digital transformation - With the global supply chain constantly evolving and incorporating new technologies, businesses have to implement new devices to keep up. New devices create intelligent enterprises to complete mundane tasks.
- Surprise stock-outs - Sudden spikes in demand and poor inventory visibility resulted in sudden stock-out for some businesses this year. Incomplete visibility makes it harder to manage stock levels and predict when demands could spike.
- Device shortages - Chip shortages plagued the supply chain and made it harder for industries to acquire technology. Limited technology access makes it harder to manage inventory and track assets.
- Cyber threats - The rise of cyber-attacks and threats was another problem businesses faced this year. Businesses needed to strengthen data security and implement dependable mobile devices to manage cyber threats.
- The need for a more sustainable supply chain - Trends also indicated this year that consumers prefer sustainable products. Businesses that work to create sustainable supply chain processes satisfy customers and improve efficiency.
Businesses focused on enabling faster and more efficient processes with innovative technology to adapt to these demands. Technology built for your enterprise helps improve productivity with more dependable and accurate performance to pair with your workers. Here are some of the top technologies businesses used during 2022:
- RFID - Real-time visibility and tracking were the main draw for businesses to make RFID technology one of the most used technologies this year. It was important this year to track the movement of goods throughout the supply chain, and RFID provides that from delivery to customers.
- Voice Picking - Hands-free, eyes-free technologies with voice technologies helped businesses increase employee focus and reduce errors and downtime. Voice-automated guidance helped optimize order fulfillment and maximize efficiency for enterprises this year.
- Robotics - More businesses targeted automated picking assistance with robotics that also help improve employee focus and tracking. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) help pinpoint managing stock levels with real-time data to speed up shipments.
- Barcoding - Proven technology with barcode hardware solutions helped businesses manage inventory and monitor items in real-time in 2022. Asset tracking and inventory management is your workforce’s control with barcodes.
- Cybersecurity - Every year it seems that the amount of cyber attacks increases. Cybersecurity solutions helped reduce risk and improve data security to prepare for threats.
- Flexible WiFi - Since more supply chains are being changed from the Digital Age, it was important this year and in the future to get fast wireless performance. An enterprise network that delivers flexible WiFi capabilities helps keep interference from disrupting productivity.
- Mobile Device Management - As the supply chain was changing this year, it was and still is important to prepare your operations for these changes and growth. Device management services should help you troubleshoot and manage your mobility solutions.
While problems like shortages, stock levels, shifting demands, and the need for digital transformation challenged supply chains this year, many turned to the right solutions for help. RFID, voice automation, robotics, and other solutions helped improve productivity and accuracy to optimize fulfillment throughout the supply chain. find out which technologies are being used now and in 2023.