Post-Pandemic Impacts on the Distribution Center & How to Ensure Resiliency
As the coronavirus outbreak has spread, unprecedented challenges have arisen in distribution centers all over the world. Extraordinary measures have been taken to keep goods and services moving. Leaders in supply chain are building swift & agile response capabilities in order to mitigate the fallout from the crisis. Yet most organizations are still learning to cope with this new reality, and its post-pandemic impacts on warehouse operations. The need to quickly develop and adopt new capabilities that ensure long-term resiliency is now firmly on everyone’s minds.
This session will specifically address 3 fundamental shifts, their impacts on the DC, and how to build the capabilities required to maximize resiliency and long-term sustainability.
1. Consumption Changes – how consumer consumption patterns effect the DC processes and strategies to meet the new demands.
a. BOPIS (Buy online pick-up in store) – picking strategies and consolidation methods with standard store replenishment orders – Put to Store processing
b. Direct to Consumer smaller shipments – impacts on picking strategies and need for optimization
c. Need for more management tools – online visibility tools including dashboards – but also mobile execution tools for ease of execution.
2. Re-Shoring Manufacturing
a. Reducing dependencies on foreign manufacturing and related risk
b. Reduced inventory investment and shortened more predictable in-transit timelines
c. Imbedded MES for better inventory visibility and common processes for manufacturing and distribution/fulfillment – enabling manufacturing direct fulfillment
3. Robotics and Automation
a. AMR’s / AGV’s to supplement labor force and enable physical spacing/social distancing.
b. GTO/GTP processes – fixed station work reducing unproductive travel while enabling separation of workers – potentially contactless with robotic picking arms advancing.
c. Labor force constraints with same work force likely to be supporting DC’s and Manufacturers