THE IMPACT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES ON SPACE, OPERATIONS AND REVENUES
Warehouse and distribution space has been impacted significantly by the virtual world. Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory control systems have eliminated the need to carry inventory; therefore, less industrial space is required. Inventory-to-sales ratios have steadily declined since JIT systems were introduce in the 1980s. There has been a 20% efficiency gain in the use of inventories over the last ten years, distributors now need less space (ULI). The introduction of e-commerce is expected to accelerate the attractiveness of big-box industrial distribution centers at the expense of more traditional, lower-ceiling storage facilities, particularly as premiums are placed on moving merchandise quickly to market.
Some observers see JIT and e-commerce removing links in the distribution-warehouse chain between the manufacturer and consumer, reducing the amount of retail and warehouse space in the process.
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