According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), over a third of all businesses are experiencing supply chain disruptions each month in 2022.
Within warehouse operations these disruptions can translate into several key challenges:
COVID-19 continues to impact warehouse labour availability and thereby warehouse operations and performance.
Volatility in international inbound freight deliveries also introduces inefficiencies on planned versus actual receiving dates and hence downstream deliveries.
COVID-19 is influencing truck driver availability and consequently uncertainty around the pickup and delivery of goods.
The rapid move to online ordering due to COVID-19 and lockdowns has seen a significant increase in single unit customer orders being fulfilled from warehouses and not retail stores. This has dramatically changed labour requirements and costs across Warehouse and retail stores.
Increases in Cyber-attacks have seen many companies being seriously impacted.
With these Supply Chain disruptions here to stay, companies need to develop strategies that can improve resilience.
Consider moving from a ‘Just in Time’ strategy to a ‘Just in Case’ strategy.
Invest in technologies that reduce operational dependence on the labour workforce. i.e. Robotics, Goods to Person, ASRS etc.
Improve the maturity of your systems, data, processes, and people to deliver more flexible, resilience and reliability across your day-to-day operations.
Invest in solutions that improve real-time visibility of freight movements. The sooner you know about an issue the sooner it can be resolved, mitigating its impact.
Consider investing in Order Management Solutions that can ration or substitute products that are late or out of stock.
Look at decentralising your warehouse inventory across multiple sites to mitigate the dependency on a single warehouse and introduce the capability to ship anything from anywhere at any time.
Build out your alternate supplier networks to ensure you have multiple vendors to source the same or similar product from.
Review your weeks of supply modelling and perhaps increase safety stock levels for key products.
Invest in more warehouse floor space and setup satellite overflow capacity to be able to hold more safety stock.
Consider upgrading your warehousing systems to the latest technologies and secure hosting options. Improving the maturity of your systems and operations will improve your overall operational resilience.
If you’d like to know more about these ideas and strategies, then reach out to FourPL for a follow-up discussion.