Manufacturing companies may be worried about recent numbers which have shown the global shipping industry may be on the decline, but adopting warehouse tracking systems and other similar software may help companies rise above the pack. This may be necessary, as Research and Markets released the Global Shipping Industry 2013 study, which showed that shipping will decline by 5 to 10 percent in the coming years. Oversupply of goods and oil prices will lead to a slowdown in performance, the report said.
"A sustained oversupply of vessels combined with high bunker oil prices will pressure margins in most shipping segments," Research and Markets' report said. "The dry-bulk and crude oil tanker segments are likely to have the largest supply-demand gap in 2013, complicating these sectors' ability to meaningfully improve their earnings. The tanker market has also been affected by the oversupply of vessels in the near term aided by lower OPEC production levels; though the outlook for the product tanker segment is more favorable since demand growth is likely to outpace supply during 2013, leading freight rates to rise by the end of this year."
Entreprenuer.com recently spoke with Kristopher Lange, who runs BookFool, a company which sells old books online. There were problems with shipping due to the large amount of goods, but they now use tracking software that makes it easier to work with affiliates and service customers. Lange said he wanted to be the "Zappos of textbook wholesaling." The company's revenue is currently slightly down from the previous year, but the new system has helped sustain the business in a similar place to where they were.
Benefits of tracking in real time
Industry professional Linda Bryan said there are some stated advantages to the use of tracking systems, including capturing data in real-time, providing an audit trail, supporting serialization of items, and enabling the company to cut down or cut out the use of paper.
"Real-time production/shop floor control software should seamlessly integrate with a company's accounting system," Bryan said. "Instead of manually chasing and preparing data, inventory is captured in real-time. This reduces overhead expenses, eliminates duplicate data entry, provides cradle-to-grave reporting and leverages key staff on higher pay-off projects."
Tracking systems such as this are becoming absolutely necessary for manufacturers in many industries, she said. Thankfully, the costs of the software are dropping as demand has started to increase further.
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