Warehouse logistics 2022: requirements & trends

Ultimately, functioning supply chains are the backbone of the economy, whether in manufacturing or in retail. Not only a high "OTIF rate" (OTIF = on time in full) in the outbound area, but also in particular the supply of production or warehouses with raw materials, packaging materials, etc. are daily challenges.

In general, increasing globalization and constantly increasing demand are already leading to bottlenecks in the industry. In addition, pandemic-related production and delivery delays, container congestion, growing e-commerce activities across the board, and the war-related explosion in energy costs are increasing the risk and pressure on the industry. Also due to the acute shortage of skilled workers (especially in the area of ​​drivers), these risks are increasing more and more.

In order to be able to cope with these global challenges, the industry is forced to think "out of the box" and to look for solutions to be able to defy all adversities.

We then considered how supply chains can be made more sustainable, robust and efficient. Here we focus on 5 parameters.

1. Digitization & Transparency

Having control over the entire supply chain at all times is the key to being able to react quickly and efficiently to disruptions in the supply chain and possible crisis situations.

Ultimately, a similar level of transparency is also expected in the B2B area today, as has long been the case in the B2C area, i.e. the customer must be able to reliably check the status of his order online at all times.

Here it is important that everyone involved in the process chain pulls together and sees transparency as a common task or challenge.

2. Autonomous Logistics & Artificial Intelligence

Many companies now rely on fully automated warehouses to increase reliability and minimize the risk of human error. At the same time, this automation creates a consistently usable information source in order to be able to share information in real time.

With the exception of a few pilot projects, automation currently ends at the sender's ramp, since the infrastructure for autonomous vehicles has not yet been created. If these conditions are met, issues such as driver bottlenecks, rest periods, etc. can increasingly take a back seat and the supply chains can be relieved in the long term.

3. Cooperations

The common goal should be to make maximum use of the existing capacities and to reduce empty kilometers. In many cases, however, we find that most shippers still want to be the sole “masters” of their transports and costs. This thinking often prevents the more efficient use of existing capacities and also drives up costs.

Conceivable here are both cooperations among service providers (e.g. bundling of the main runs), the increased generation of "round trips" (= combination of deliveries and collections) or also so-called shipper cooperations (i.e. shippers from the same region with identical recipient groups bundle for their own intention the volume).

4. Employee Focus & Specialists

The job descriptions in the logistics process chain will change significantly in the future, i.e. “doers” must become “globally thinking strategists” who are able to evaluate and optimize complex delivery flows.

All those involved in an "end2end" supply chain (including logistics as the "executing element") must, in contrast to today's requirement profile, simultaneously focus on the maximum utilization of capacities, the reduction of empty kilometers and the increase in transparency on the transport route. At the moment there are certainly only very few specialists who have mastered this combined role and who are equipped with the appropriate skills and influence.

In order to be able to implement this change, one's own interests must take second place to network interests, i.e. purchasing no longer buys "all-inclusive" free domicile, different companies in the region with the same customers or focal points in the delivery regions negotiate together with a forwarding agent and no longer alone with different carriers, trade allows the informal harmonization of delivery days and much more.

5. Sustainability

Suppliers and trade are already relying on sustainability in many isolated areas; However, these individual initiatives are subject to limits that can only be abolished together. For example, what could be more sustainable than bundling goods from several suppliers on an autonomous vehicle and only having to drive to a commercial warehouse together at full capacity and on the way back to suppliers from the region raw, auxiliary or operating materials or packaging materials for to take over the previous senders together?

Conserving the available resources, protecting the environment as much as possible and optimizing the supply chains (such consolidations free up capacities in a sustainable and plannable manner) is therefore a feasible goal, but not alone.

A "creative" head of logistics put it in a nutshell many years ago when he said: "The competition takes place on the shelves and not on the ramp". To remember such a "succinct" sentence under today's conditions and to think creatively about whether and with whom one could go such a path together would certainly be the first important step towards optimization.

Our experience is your success!

The partners of Bavaria Consulting have more than 20 years of project experience in the area of ​​supply chain management - purchasing, production / technology and logistics.

Our expertise is cross-industry - food, beverage and pharmaceuticals.

Ihr Ansprechpartner:
Dieter Backhausen

Head of Logistics
Phone+49 89 18908070
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