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Clue in to the DC of the near future

20 June 2018

Mike Vernon, head of innovation at Kuehne & Nagel UK shares his extensive experience in employing warehouse technology to reduce costs, increase throughput and deliver a better customer experience.

Speaking at the Warehouse Technology Group live event on 13 June 2018, Mike's role at Kuehne + Nagel involves spearheading the company’s drive to automate and investigate new technologies which might improve operational efficiency.

Mike’s presentation was entitled The Distribution Centre of the (near) Future and included a tour of all the new technologies that are emerging into the market including robots and cobots, AGVs, high density storage, goods to person systems and shuttle stores. He finished his presentation with review of the AMHSA 12 Point Plan to a successful project.

Senior decision makers in the warehousing sector spent the day at the National Logistics Academy in Manchester, home of the Warehouse Technology Group to hear how investment in business-improving warehouse technology and equipment can help them meet the challenges presented by the current business climate, the emerging labour shortage and the growth of e-tailing.

They also heard how the leading-edge solutions offered by the Warehouse Technology Group partners can help them to manage stock more effectively and improve the overall responsiveness of their operation.

The WTG Live event – now enjoying its eighth year – is a unique combination of keynote presentations, live demonstrations, advice clinics and networking for logistics and warehousing professionals.

March Currie, joint chairman of the WTG and CEO of the National Logistics Academy welcomed delegates to the Academy’s Mantra Learning training centre in Middleton. Introducing the day, which was themed The Smart Warehouse, Mark explained how the current state of full employment coupled with the shortage of warehouse space was putting increasing pressure on warehouse managers to get more throughput from the same or less resource. 

Mark observed: “The fact is, many of the logistics businesses we serve are now struggling to recruit the skilled staff they need to cope with growth. And with Brexit approaching the influx of migrant workers that our sector has relied upon in the past will simply dry up. In fact, last month, for the first time in decades we saw more workers leaving the UK than arriving.”

There were live product demonstrations by key WTG partners including a presentation on the revolutionary new OSR Shuttle Evo from Knapp which offers the highest throughput and storage density on the market.

Other new technologies that were demonstrated included a new alarm bar by A-Safe. Interroll demonstrated their Dynamic Storage solutions that save up to 50% space and reduce travel distances by up to 80%. ProSku demonstrated their WMS for online retail. CPA Group demonstrated their hybrid ventilation fan with smart control technology. Codeway demonstrated their barcode track and trace software.

Delegates also had a chance to see construction in progress on a new 20,000 square foot temporary building that is currently being installed on site at Mantra Learning by the newest WTG partner, Spaciotempo. It will form a new training warehouse which will be kitted out by WTG members to provide a facility where we can train people to work in the fast-growing reverse logistics industry – one area of e-commerce that is still heavily reliant on manual labour and has yet to benefit from automation.