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Report: As labor challenges persist, digital tools gain traction among supply chain professionals

May 2, 2023
The study from Ivanti Wavelink also highlights the smart initiatives most in use and most likely to emerge.

Ivanti Wavelink announced the results of its recent survey, “Heavy Lift: Supply Chain Trends for 2023,” which features insights from more than 200 warehouse workers, drivers, line workers, warehouse managers, analysts, customer-support specialists, and executives  to gauge the current state of the supply chain. 

To help address these concerns, organizations are embracing technology and automation to enhance worker experience and productivity, per the report. Around 85% of 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%.  

The most-used digital tools among respondents were 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 is easy to deploy and is ultra-dependable will become more appealing—the survey notes 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, SVP 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.”