Our annual survey reveals a bullish outlook for continued material handling investments, with enthusiasm extending into newer technologies such as robotics as well as warehouse control system software and the closely related category of warehouse execution systems.
If there were one clear-cut conclusion to be drawn from our “2018 Warehouse and Distribution Center (DC) Equipment Survey,” it would be that the outlook for spending is bullish. The percentage of respondents saying that they’re “proceeding with investments” reached its highest level in four years, and the percent of respondents saying that they’re “holding off” on material handling solutions shrank by 7%.
However, the purse strings aren’t being held wide open across the board. A few subcategories saw tepid or declining indications, and generally, respondents seem more interested in specific types of material handling equipment, rather than large scale information systems (IS) spending. At the same time, the survey revealed growing interest in the use of relatively new types of technology, including robotics, drones and smart glasses. These new technologies have to be supported and integrated into information technology (IT) systems.