Actually, the incremental nature of many of the new ACP solutions can address both the ROI and volume questions for many companies, but those issues will be worked out on a company-by-company basis.
The report notes, however, that psychology may (for many companies) be just as large a barrier to adoption as these traditional issues.
“Many of these solutions are based on a substantially different operating and automation paradigm than almost anyone in the distribution and logistics industry has experience with,” the report notes. “Even in initially reviewing some of these solutions, and certainly when taking more active steps to consider them for your operations, this disconnect with your experience and world of the familiar will likely be strong – and likely cause some discomfort because it seems so different and hard to imagine in your DC.”
These new technologies will require, in many scenarios, new ways of thinking about distribution center management and processes – and perhaps even different skill sets in supervisors and managers.
The report notes that this type of “cognitive dissonance” is quite normal and to be expected. The key is taking a step back and dealing effectively with the psychology of the situation. As just one example, few companies are yet used to having robots running around their distribution centers. Both mid and senior-level managers need to be aware of the psychology involved in themselves and those around them when evaluating this kind of unfamiliar technology.
Those psychological reactions are OK, and to be expected, the report notes, adding that “It is better to recognize that such feelings may arise, and to be prepared to deal with them in a logical way, rather than pretend they won’t exist.”
Over the next five years, the report says, many companies are likely to adopt this high level of DC automation, very different from today’s world. This has already started to happen to a degree in areas of Europe.
What type of role do you think psychology will play in companies considering highly automated distribution centers? Do you have any experience in such situations? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.
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