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Navigate a Shifting Landscape
Looking back at the events of 2020, it’s clear that the onset of the pandemic was an inflection point for the distribution and fulfillment (D&F) sector. Companies that relied on their supply chains for omnichannel retail fulfillment suddenly found themselves on unsure footing. Retailers were forced to quickly adapt to new workplace safety challenges amid unprecedented e-commerce acceleration. Consumers embraced contact-less, online fulfillment options — across all retail sectors and many for the first time — while distribution center (DC) managers implemented workplace safety measures aimed at improving worker confidence and well-being.
E-Commerce Growth has Accelerated 4 to 6 Years Faster than Anticipated
- Online sales are up 77% year-over-year.
- Newly formed online purchasing behaviors are becoming permanent.
- Curbside pick-up has become widely accepted.
Investments in Automation and Robotics are on the Rise
- Respond to increased supply chain pressures (picking, packing and shipping).
- Mitigate the risks of slowdowns or shutdowns.
- Keep up with increased competition for talent in a tight labor market.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommends the Following Workplace Guidelines
- Device sharing is only recommended in conjunction with proper cleaning measures.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) — such as face coverings and gloves — is now a necessity.
- Workers should follow social and/or physical distancing recommendations.
- Employees should be continually screened and monitored for elevated temperatures.
- Adherence to personal hygiene standards is integral to improving workplace safety.
To navigate this rapidly shifting landscape, companies will need to utilize all available tools, technologies and fulfillment strategies to enhance workforce safety and drive peak productivity levels in their DCs. If these sound like all too familiar challenges, we’ve dedicated this issue of our On The Move publication to you. From contact-less building access and facility monitoring to labor management optimization and remote maintenance enablement to robotics integration and micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs), you’ll find the very latest technologies and strategies for addressing new throughput requirements and workplace safety challenges.
Our goal is to give your company the tools to help protect people and places, drive labor productivity, and optimize operations for future success.