Updated: Nov 25, 2022
While the logistics and warehousing industry has continued to power through the disruptions of both Brexit and a global pandemic many corporate implications attributed to these issues remain. With many mandatory modifications including eCommerce, many businesses within this publicly vital industry have had to make way for new and improved systems and infrastructure to continue to operate and meet consumer needs; while others have created innovative solutions to tackle the barrage of unprecedented supply chain issues.
Reflecting on the problems posed, and embracing numerous changes, the Supply Chain Network team provides their main innovative solutions for you to take back control and solve your warehousing and supply chain management issues in 2022 and beyond.
Cause, Effect, Solution
The drastic changes forced upon the supply chain and warehousing industry by both Covid, and Brexit have meant that many new technologies are emerging to alleviate problems such as bottlenecks, inventory inaccuracies, and lack of operational efficiency.
Your warehouses' previous processes, technologies, materials handling equipment, and SOPs are now likely outdated due to the dramatic transformation witnessed by the consequential spike in eCommerce following the unprecedented crisis of 2020.
2022 is the time to assess your warehouse operations and analyse the best innovative solutions to implement going forwards to ensure business success.
Prioritise Rapid Planning and Agility
Agility and the successful implementation of rapid planning in warehouse management and supply chain planning are the precursors to success in this fast-paced industry. Adapting strategy to match the market's ever-changing needs is also key, and it is the businesses which execute this that thrive. As is the ability to plan ahead for businesses that wish to succeed.
Successful large and smaller organisations integrate Sales and Operations Planning Processes (S&OP) or Sales and Operational Execution (S&OE) processes and final mile strategies. This ensures that their people are in the right place at the right time.
In addition to monitoring staffing levels, these businesses know how to best analyse useful, correct and relevant operational information. They understand the best way to use this to benefit their future successful business decisions allowing their data to be mapped, monitored, and measured.
This method of constant flux improves planning, collaboration, transparency, connectivity, appropriate and useful analyses, and real-time understanding; whilst simultaneously formalising decision making and supporting organisational learning for the future.
Cutting Costs of Freight and Shipping
The pandemic and Brexit have a lot to answer for, adding to an exhaustive list of pre-pandemic problems including increased freight costs, labour shortages both in warehouses and logistics, and pressure to rely less on gas and instead invest in electric vehicle fleets.
Furthermore, exacerbating the already precarious position of the supply chain industry, eCommerce conglomerates such as Amazon now monopolise demand for faster and cheaper shipping, making it harder for smaller independents to easily meet consumer demand under cost-effective initiatives.
To keep up with these new unrealistic business standards, many smaller businesses are subsequently facing unrelenting pressure to expand their DCs and cut their ever-increasing shipping and costs, in a bid to continue to meet consumer demand for fast shipping and accurate deliveries. Without making significant changes now, these substantial pressures will continue to jeopardise the industry.
Adopt New Technologies
The supply chain sector was not alone in feeling the pressure to be aware of and willing to adopt new technologies. Covid-19 also forced many non-industry businesses to re-structure their traditional methods of working and communication including initially working from home and virtual meetings, later followed by socially distanced office spaces. Manual warehouse staff, on the other hand, were provided with personal protective equipment, test and trace systems, hand sanitiser, and actively managing shift patterns and outbreaks for staff safety.
In the aftermath of what was hopefully the worst of the pandemic, competition continues to build as businesses work to regain lost profits, produce and sales. To cut down on costs and speed up their operations, many are choosing to invest in new technologies to overcome previous supply chain issues.
Within your warehouse, whether it is equipment to streamline picking and packing, scanning and dispatch, or even returns, new technologies are critical to invest in to provide your business with solutions to eliminate downtime and bottlenecks in the picking and fulfilment processes.
The Future of Supply Chain
Digital transformation is now crucial to the survival of supply chain businesses, with experts predicting that the disruptions experienced due to both Covid, and Brexit will have long-lasting consequences, even until as late as 2023.
Vital for the survival of all businesses, efficient supply chain management, now even more so remains the focus of business success. While 2022 bears witness to organisations continuing to adjust to innovations and adopt new technologies to alleviate bottlenecks and counteract inefficiencies, it is these innovations that will continue to create shifts in the warehousing and logistics industry in 2023 and beyond.
Prepare with SCN
As the share of transport and storage businesses continues to increase across the Midlands and the East of England so does the emergence of logistics hubs and couriers throughout Yorkshire and The Humber. Further developing the angles of the Golden Logistics Triangle.
Experts in all aspects of warehouse and network design, SCN understands the importance of remaining competitive in a dynamic industry and the critical data analysis required to achieve this.
Specialists in Warehouse Design and Fit-Out, the SCN team can help you reach your facility’s fulfilment potential in 2022 and beyond. Visit www.scnuk.com to learn about the work that we do and to ensure you are ready, and future-proof your business plans and warehouse design. We work with our clients and ask questions about their supply chain at all levels. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01529 455340
*All images sourced from pexels