Survey shows 85% of supply chain professionals plan to increase technology use to support workforce

Ivanti Wavelink says more than half of respondents plan to increase technology by up to 30% in the next year.

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Technology increasingly plays an important part of productivity as labor challenges continue. That’s according to a survey done by Ivanti Wavelink, the supply chain business unit of Ivanti.

The “Heavy Lift: Supply Chain Trends for 2023” survey indicates it’s difficult—and critical—to get and keep the right people in the right roles, and respondents are looking to intuitive technology to help workers do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible. About 85% of survey respondents plan to invest in new technology and/or build upon existing technology in the next year, with more than half (53%) indicating they intend to increase automation by up to 30%.

Ivanti Wavelink worked with more than 200 warehouse workers, drivers, line workers, warehouse managers, analysts, customer support specialists and C-suite to gauge the current state of the supply chain.

Respondents’ concerns over labor shortages and enabling worker productivity were consistent—and significant – throughout the study. Time to train the workforce (52%) and high turnover (50%) were the most-noted workforce challenges. Additionally, 41% also cited the need for digital upskilling.

To help address these concerns, organizations are embracing technology and automation to enhance worker experience and productivity.

The right technology can be leveraged to make warehouse jobs easier, more efficient, more productive, and with far less physical burden. The most-used tools are hand-held mobile computers with barcode scanners (58%) and tablets (50%). Wearable computers and automated picking tools are currently less utilized but trending upwards, with respondents indicating that these tools are the top items they plan to invest in throughout the next year.

Tech that’s easy to deploy and is ultra-dependable could accelerate adoption. The survey says that reliability/uptime is the biggest consideration when evaluating new tech (69%), but other concerns are close behind: ease of deployment (67%), ease of learning (63%), and adaptability—characterized as a system that can quickly react to needed changes (63%).

“With the current shortage of available labor, many industries are better equipping their teams with technologies that help them optimize workflow. By embracing technology to help streamline operational efficiency, organizations can increase productivity, reduce costs, save time, and improve customer satisfaction,” said Brandon Black, senior vice president and general manager for Ivanti Wavelink. “Additionally, by implementing technology and automation that uses real-time data, companies can gain end-to-end visibility that allows them to evaluate information more efficiently and be more agile in mitigating issues.”


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