Throughout 2020, the logistics sector experienced profound disruption, with consumer behaviour shifting wildly and ‘just in time’ delivery practises rendered essential. But among the most striking effects of COVID-19 has been a surprising boom in warehousing.
With stores shut, shoppers migrated online.
- UK eCommerce grew by 36.6% year on year
- 36% of total retail sales in November were eCommerce
- Businesses selling online require 3 x the amount of warehouse space compared to those selling in physical locations
- £4.7bn total investment in Warehousing as demand doubled
In our recent eBook, we investigate the five main challenges facing those businesses impacted by the Warehouse Boom. In order for businesses to achieve maximum efficiency and flexibility they must be proactive in adapting their supply chains to respond to the following issues:
#1 Achieving real time supply chain visibility
Visibility is vital not only in times of crisis though. In warehouses, for example, real time visibility is also essential for high-speed fulfilment, enabling managers to coordinate more effectively, reduce errors and hold workers accountable. This leads to greater inventory control, shorter cycle times, reduced costs and better customer experience. As businesses look to restructure their supply chains to adapt to a post-pandemic economy, they will must emphasise tracking and monitoring. Adapting to changes in urban populations
#2 Maintaining quality while scaling high-speed fulfilment
As urban geography is reimagined, stable assumptions about where consumers cluster will be upended. Fulfilment will need to be far more flexible and agile to keep up, with possibilities like micro-fulfilment becoming increasingly appealing to ensure goods can be delivered at the necessary speed.
#3 Integrating data-driven technology to increase efficiency
As consumers become accustomed to buying online, they also become more discerning about delivery quality and customer care. This involves everything from the cost and speed of delivery
to the level of customer support offered and the ease of returns
#4 Integrating data-driven technology to increase efficiency
Supply chain technology is a fast growing industry, with everything AI and predictive analytics to full-scale automation on offer. For many businesses, the challenge is not finding useful solutions but determining which solutions to choose and how to implement them.
#5 Overcoming staffing shortages and establishing a more dynamic workforce
According to Logistics UK’s Skills and Employment Report 2020, demand for warehousing roles is very high, especially as the sector has historically relied on labour from EU countries which is no longer so easily accessible . This presents a serious challenge for businesses looking to use warehouses to scale their eCommerce efforts.
Download our full eBook today.