Zebra Technologies Corporation has revealed the results of the Asia-Pacific edition of its Future of Fulfilment Vision Study, a body of research analysing how manufacturers, transport and logistics (T&L) firms and retailers are preparing to meet the growing needs of the on-demand economy.
Manufacturing and T&L global director at Zebra Technologies Jim Hilton said: “Driven by the always-connected, tech-savvy shopper, retailers, manufacturers and logistics companies are collaborating and swapping roles in uncharted ways to meet shoppers’ omnichannel product fulfillment and delivery expectations. Zebra’s Future of Fulfillment Vision Study found that 95 per cent of survey respondents in Asia-Pacific agreed that e-commerce is driving the need for faster delivery. In response, companies are turning to digital technology and analytics to bring heightened automation, merchandise visibility and business intelligence to the supply chain to compete in the on-demand consumer economy.”
Key survey findings
- 67 per cent of logistics companies expect to provide same-day delivery by 2023 and 55 per cent anticipate delivery within a two-hour window by 2028. In addition, 96 per cent of survey respondents expect to use crowdsourced delivery or a network of drivers that choose to complete a specific order by 2028.
- 92 per cent of the respondents cited capital investment and operating costs of implementing an omnichannel operation as a key challenge. Only 42 per cent of supply chain respondents reported operating at an omnichannel level today. In contrast, an estimated 73 per cent of consumers shop across multiple channels.
- Seven in ten surveyed executives agree that more retailers will continue to turn stores into fulfilment centres that accommodate product returns. By 2023, 99 per cent of retailers plan to implement buy online/pick up in store to allow a more seamless fulfilment process.
- In APAC, 93 per cent of respondents agreed that accepting and managing product returns remain a challenge. Reverse logistics remain underdeveloped and significant opportunities for improvement remain. Today, 58 per cent of retail respondents add a surcharge for returns, and 71 per cent have no plans to change this in the future. Meanwhile, 71 per cent of survey respondents agree that more retailers will turn stores into fulfilment centres that can accommodate product returns.
- Today, 55 per cent of organisations are still using inefficient, manual pen-and-paper based processes to enable omnichannel logistics. By 2021, handheld mobile computers with barcode scanners will be used by 99 per cent of respondents for omnichannel logistics. The upgrade from manual pen-and-paper spreadsheets to handheld computers with barcode scanners or tablets will improve omnichannel logistics by providing more real-time access to warehouse management systems.
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and inventory management platforms are expected to grow from 32 per cent today to 95 per cent in 2028. RFID-enabled software, hardware and tagging solutions, offer up-to-the-minute, item-level inventory lookup, heightening inventory accuracy and shopper satisfaction while reducing out of stocks, overstocks and replenishment errors.
- Future-oriented decision makers revealed that next generation supply chains will reflect connected, business-intelligence and automated solutions that will add newfound speed, precision and cost effectiveness to transport and labour. Surveyed executives expect the most disruptive technologies to be drones, driverless/autonomous vehicles, wearable and mobile technology, and robotics.
In association with the launching of the report, Zebra introduced a new mobile printer and RFID tool that will help drive better efficiencies both on and off-premise. Zebra says the new ZQ300 Series mobile printers empower workers in the field, in the warehouse or on the retail floor with on-demand printing capabilities. Meanwhile, the FX9600 fixed UHF RFID readers will enable enterprises to keep up with high volumes of cargo movements in the warehouse or dock doors.