Zebra Technologies’ Global Warehouse Technology Study Reveals Sharp Increase in Automation and RFID Adoption, With More Than 70% of Respondents in the Asia Pacific Region Planning to Automate by 2024. The study highlights the changing landscape as warehouses around the world move toward efficiency, talent retention and environmental friendliness. practices for a resilient future. Here’s what else was revealed.
Updated November 24, 2023 | 12:50 IST
Zebra study reveals warehouses are modernizing to handle increasing yields
A new global warehouse technology study conducted by Zebra Technologies found that supply chain facilities around the world are actively modernizing their operations and implementing innovative tracking tools such as radio frequency identification (RFID) to combat escalating product returns and improve inventory visibility. His recent research surveyed more than 1,400 warehouse technology decision-makers and workers about the industry’s top priorities and challenges today.
Invest massively in Automating and RFID
The Zebra study found that more than 70% of respondents in India and the Asia-Pacific region plan to automate various workflows by 2024. The goal is to enable employees to perform more focused tasks on the customer by eliminating manual and repetitive tasks.
Additionally, 58% of global warehouse decision-makers intend to deploy radio frequency identification (RFID) tools by 2028. RFID can effectively track goods in warehouses, improving visibility in real time. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the invention of RFID in 1973.
Returns management is now the main challenge
With rising consumer expectations, returns have become the No. 1 operational issue cited by 47% of global warehouse managers surveyed. This shows a worrying increase of 5 percentage points from last year. 73% of respondents are accelerating technology upgrades to manage returns.
Improve efficiency while retaining talent
Warehouse leaders also feel immense pressure to improve productivity amid volatile demand. Nearly 80 percent reported difficulties with inaccurate inventory and stock-outs. They aim to improve accuracy through investments in tracking technologies.
Additionally, more than 80% of employees surveyed agree that new automation helps them achieve their goals, making them feel more valued. For executives, these tools also attract talent in times of labor shortage.
Sustainability is now a key objective
84% of warehouse managers recognize the importance of technology investments that maximize battery life and energy efficiency. Top priorities include connected energy monitoring software, hardware buybacks, and partnerships with sustainable suppliers.
More than three quarters of managers aim to minimize emissions and waste linked to their operations. Sustainable upgrades allow warehouses to avoid inefficiencies, reduce costs and remain resilient.