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Festive season challenging for distribution centres

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Over two thirds of UK distribution centre managers are dreading the post-holiday period, which they see as “the most challenging time of the year”, a new survey has revealed.

Research by Intermec revealed that 68 per cent of distribution centre managers regard the post-holiday period as the most challenging time of year due to the high numbers of returns which they have to process at this time.

Of the 250 supply chain and distribution managers in the UK, France, Germany and North America who responded to the survey, more than half also admitted that they did not have the appropriate processes and tools in place to correctly manage returns.

In order to reduce the cost and stress of managing returned goods, they must be able to make quick decisions about whether returned goods should be discarded, returned to vendor or moved back into inventory.

For this reason, 60 per cent of distribution centre managers are using ‘reverse logistics’ to return items to the supply chain as quickly as possible.

Hardware as a Service, or the leasing of hardware, is also seen as a cost-effective solution to the demands of the post-holiday period by 62 per cent of warehouse managers.

Ian Snadden, Intermec’s Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented: “The holiday season is the busiest and most challenging time of the year for distribution operations, especially those engaged in Business to Consumer fulfilment.

“With challenging lead times, increased volumes, temporary staffing and the after holiday deluge of returns, improving mobility solutions for the workforce becomes more critical than ever before if businesses are to meet customer demands and improve profitability.”

Published on Wednesday 19 December by Editorial Assistant

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