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Logistics industry: We don’t lock down, we knuckle down

15 October 2020

I recently heard a great quote from Skechers logistics VP Sophie Houtmeyers, saying even when the world stops turning, logistics doesn’t stop.

How right that is. In fact, Skechers has experienced order growth, even post-pandemic. But having made a significant investment in staff and systems over the last five years, it has been in a position to support this unexpected growth.

Seize the opportunity. If growth does not present itself, then use the time to lay the groundwork for future business. 

Now is the time to have a look at back office functions. Maybe you are relying on three delivery management systems when one would be optimal? Now could be the time to rationalise on to the best option. Maybe you’ve spent the last three years thinking about cloud-based warehouse IT? Now could be the time to get something done about it.

We are delighted to have a thoughtful column from Harry Watts of SEC Group, dealing with how you need to get on top of inventory changes six months into the crisis and deal with the implications this may have on warehouse storage and systems.

In the meantime, there is a lot to be proud of in the logistics industry. Just look at the grocery supply chain. It has been under a lot pf pressure, with acute volume fluctuations, and yet it has coped admirably. Imagine how much worse the situation would be for the public if this key sector did not have the planning, the systems and the hardworking staff to prevail.

Social distancing in the warehouse has had major knock-on effects on processes. Firms need to carefully plan pick waves to ensure workers are not crowding in the aisles. 

This is important as we approach Peak. As warehouses refine their processes, matching waves to order profiles to get goods out quickly and accurately, they will have to also factor in social distancing rules. As a result, this could be a big Peak for automaton, with many retailers looking to see just how much of extra Peak volume can be handled by automated solutions, saving both on the cost of extra employees and also the potential safety headaches they would bring.