Could Covid-19 change warehousing and supply chain forever?

Wayne Hockley |
March 25, 2020 |
warehousing and supply chain

The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time in history and as we watch the waves hitting our “economic pond” we see some surprising things, like Amazon hiring 100,000 new workers, and giving all of their workers a raise. With governments encouraging people to stay at home for an unknown amount of time this is clearly causing brick and mortar stores significant disruption but hybrid companies, and pure online fulfillment supply chains like Amazon have a “captive” audience. Even a company like Amazon, is feeling supply chain angst. Suppliers and manufacturers from China and other manufacturing regions of the world have had significant disruption – causing shortages for Amazon of products to sell. Amazon in a sense has become a big “shock absorber” with items, warehouses and inventory and the ability to “sell” what is available through their web presence – but even Amazon could run out of certain high-volume products. They would have the capacity to fill the orders, to deliver the orders – but not the goods themselves. So, what does this mean for the future potentially? An article from Deloitte drives forward this concept of a DSNs or “Digital Supply Networks” as a replacement for Supply Chains focus for Supply Chains has been to lower costs, increase efficiencies, lower inventory levels and minimize carbon footprints – this focus is what is causing the disruption to deliveries in this Covid-19 pandemic. Companies in the Digital Supply Network would offer transparent data for the entire chain of companies – to know capacities, examine disruptions and more accurately predict and direct goods in the most effective way.

What does this mean for you? If you are a manufacturer, a distributor or a delivery service the DSN will be asking you for “data transparency” in order to give full visibility across the network including visibility to you to anticipate supply and demand sides of your operation for more effective planning. What this means to you as a business – is to stay competitive and be a compelling partner in the future DSN – you will need an Enterprise Computer system that manages all the process flows – but that’s not all. You will need to “automate” the inputs into the system – like your warehousing system. As you pick, as you pack, as you ship – this data will need to flow into your DSN. When the DSN shows disruption to either your supply or you demand side – you will have the tools to make adjustments quickly – if you ERP system is connected, and offers you “threshold” planning – meaning the computer system helps you set priorities on what to buy, what to make, what to ship. Will the Covid-19 pandemic drive us towards an even greater connected business environment? We will all wait and see, but we all know the saying “Necessity is the mother of Invention”. In the coming months and years, we will see if the pandemic crisis caused the need to be more connected – are you ready? At Mibusoft, we understand how ERP and warehousing and manufacturing and the transparent interconnecting to other companies looks like. Have questions? Reach out.

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