Balancing the Macro vs the Micro.

Read on to learn how organizations must not ignore the micro in the midst of rising inflation, recession concerns and energy crises.

Don’t neglect daily operations.

We gathered the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of 300+ senior leaders and decision makers — from CEOs to order fulfillment and logistics directors — to gauge how they’re approaching the next 12 months. We identified their top challenges and priorities; a key takeaway is to not neglect daily operations, despite the macro challenges of rising costs, recession concerns and energy crises.

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Macro issues dominate thinking.

When it comes to 2023’s biggest challenges, it’s no shock to see rising costs on top. But one of the interesting findings from our survey was just how little some of the key operational challenges are being prioritized.

Equipment faults and breakdowns, returns handling, inaccurate inventory and order picking occupy the four bottom spots for respondents. Only 17% put inventory visibility in their top priorities and 18% have a focus on greater picking accuracy.

Micro challenges remain a threat.

Operational issues are easy to put at the bottom of the to-do list. But ignore them for too long and they become serious issues. Often operational issues can have a big impact on tackling the impacts of macro conditions like rising costs and talent shortages that are mostly out of your control.

Leadership teams can pass down big picture edicts from the boardroom without understanding the more immediate needs of the warehouse operators. Ensuring open communication across the organization can ensure the short-term and long-term needs of the business are met.

How to meet the challenge?

  • Get granular
  • Open communications between the boardroom & the shopfloor

The expert's view

"It is perhaps not surprising to observe a gap of perception between the boardroom and the shop floor. But there are supply chain challenges today that should see that strategic-operational gap shrink. 

Take automation, for instance. Businesses are now working on a much broader set of ROI factors than just FTE optimization. Finding accurate figures will require a detail-oriented collaboration between leadership and operations. 

That means a focus on picking accuracy gains, stock accuracy, and employee experience, to name just a few. These factors are not so easy to translate into actual numbers in an Excel spreadsheet. And as topics like scalability (thus easier project phasing), flexibility (capacity to absorb activity peaks), and increasing product range eventually ladder up to the C-Suite, so the need for clearer lines of communications between leadership and ops becomes paramount.”

Laurent Cochet, Business Development Director, AutoStore, Southern Europe

Only 17%
Only 17%
put inventory visibility in their top 5 priorities for the year
Only 1 in 10
Only 1 in 10
say accurate inventory data is a core challenge for 2023
consider returns handling as a top 5 priority
are concerned with inaccurate order picking

Download the Full Report Now

This is one of the five key learnings from our benchmark survey, download the full report to read more on Rising Cost Challenges, ESG initiatives, AS/RS Necessity and Space Utilization.