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6 surprising stats about warehouse efficiency

Opinion

28 September 2017

Looking beyond the glossy magazine features and smiley guided videos, there’s no escaping the fact that the perfect warehouse doesn’t exist. People make mistakes, robots make mistakes, staff get sick, customers shock the system with an influx of orders...there are many barriers standing in-between a warehouse and perfection.

No warehouse is perfect. That’s true. But it’s also true that a lot more could, and should, be done to improve the way that they work. Read these 6 stats about warehouse efficiency; they might surprise you.

  1. 43% of small businesses either don’t track inventory or use a manual method (Source: Wasp Barcode)

  2. When it comes to goods-in, human error is the top issue in 46% of warehouses (Source: The 2017 e-Commerce Fulfilment Report)

  3. Only 26% of company managers view warehouses and distribution centers as an asset which can drive growth for their business (Source: Motorola Solutions Future of Warehouse Survey)

  4. 34% of businesses ship late because products are sold which are not actually in stock (Source: The 2017 e-Commerce Fulfilment Report)

  5. After years of steady growth, there’s been a 5.6% decrease in the average size of warehouses... (Source: MMH and Logistics Management)

  6. ...but online spending is up 15.9% year on year (Source: Office for National Statistics)


 

What can we learn from these stats?

  • By embracing appropriate technological solutions, businesses could make drastic improvements. The possible gains from having an effective inventory, reducing human error and keeping control over stock management are huge. They’re easy wins.  

  • Companies need to realise just how much of a goldmine efficient warehouses can be. The end-to-end customer journey doesn’t start in the search bar and end in the cart; it’s hugely reliant on strong warehousing processes. Mess up when, where or what the customer orders and you’re guaranteed negative reviews.

  • Increasing online spending and decreasing warehouse space (even minimal, as shown in the 5th stat) is only bad news if the warehouse is disorganised. Optimal warehouses are primed for scalability and allow for sizeable stock fluctuations with minimal stress.


 

The good news is that there are reams of opportunities to improve. The even better news is that we’re giving you one right now.

We recently sat down with Tamebay editor Chris Dawson and Lingerie Outlet Store's Melissa Burton to talk best practices about making warehouses work more efficiently.  If you missed out, you can watch the webinar in its entirety by following this link.