Meeting the challenges of the 2020 pandemic and beyond
In the short span of a few months, the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has immeasurably changed forever the fields of warehousing and distribution. In fact, change that would normally take years is taking place in months or quarters. The ability to undertake change and adjust to new business imperatives is a key characteristic of a resilient distribution center, one that responds flexibly and efficiently to external changes, bending not breaking when faced with adversity.
In the short term, we are seeing changes in consumer demand that are driving the need for adjustments in supply chains, warehouse operations, and inventory practices. In the medium and long term (where the long term may be defined as little as 2-3 years from today), we expect to see re-shoring or nearshoring of manufacturing as well as adjustments in data center siting and sizing.
Enabling technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning embedded within common digital platforms, mobile technologies, robotics and automation are being considered and implemented to allow distribution centers to achieve the necessary resilience.
With competing distribution centers already making the necessary adaptations in months—enabling them to achieve productivity gains in the face of social distancing guidelines and employee absence due to sickness—and a second wave of the pandemic expected in the second half of 2020, the time to act is now. The time for the resilient distribution center starts today.
This eBook will explore how to become a more resilient distribution center in the post-pandemic era.