In distribution operations, efficiency is king as companies shipping items directly to consumers must meet an ever-increasing set of consumer expectations for on-time delivery. According to Voxware research, 62% customers who do not receive their orders purchased online or over the phone within 2 days of the date promised indicate that they are less or much less likely to shop with that retailer in the future.

The first step to more efficient distribution operations is to implement technology to replace outdated processes. When companies replace paper checklist systems with voice automation technology, they regularly see strong efficiency improvements throughout the warehouse but especially for item selection where 30% improvements are common.

As significant as these improvements may be, they’re only the first step toward a streamlined and efficient distribution operation that can meet today’s shoppers’ high expectations. To drive even further operational improvements, smart companies will consider leveraging all available data collected from automation technologies used throughout the warehouse. For example: when companies use data available from Voxware VMS to identify their fastest (and slowest) item selectors, they can identify opportunities to provide additional training and increase picking rates throughout the warehouse. Companies that combine data from single tools such as a VMS, WMS, TMS, or even traffic and weather reporting service into a single platform like Intellestra can use that information to drive even greater efficiency with a complete picture of all variables affecting distribution operations.

Recent research released by Capgemini Consulting indicates that data remains an underutilized tool for many retailers, which means that many companies still have before them an enormous opportunity to use data to drive efficiency improvements. Only 15% of retailers have access to data regarding the supply chain and only 23% of that 15% are analyzing the data available to them.

Companies that want to learn more about how to get started using data can help improve their operations can start be learning more about how VMS and Intellestra can help companies start taking advantage of data to drive greater efficiency.