Logistics Management recently conducted their annual Warehouse and DC Operations survey, and wanted to know what St. Onge Company’s Norm Saenz and Don Derewecki think of the results. The survey included the usual questions about facility size, number of employees, and capital expenditure, but also added inquiries related to COVID-19 safety measures and level of e-commerce activity. They received 122 responses from professionals in logistics and warehouse operations across multiple industries.
“This year’s findings are in many ways a continuation of the trends we’ve been seeing for years, but some of these outliers are what I’d call a ‘pandemic effect’ on DC operations,” says Derewecki. “These not only include steps taken for social distancing, but also changes with the size and number of facilities in the DC network, or in having to lease more space, to better service customers.”
According to Saenz, the impact of e-commerce has grown over the years, but now the pandemic has fast-forwarded the trends expected within the next few years down to a few months. “Findings including growth in SKU counts, greater use of radio-frequency-based picking, more evaluation of automation, as well as the increased emphasis on inventory management, can all be seen as evidence of the rapid growth of e-commerce activity that we’ve seen during the pandemic as well as how that’s driving operational change,” he says.
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