By Shaun O’Brien, CEO of Cquential
The world has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and foreseeably changed the way we will do business forever. The worldwide lockdowns have essentially brought the global economy to a standstill forcing businesses to work out how they will survive and operate post-lockdown.
Supply chains are under tremendous pressure to deliver essential services and key medical supplies, in order to ensure that the market gets the right product needed during these difficult times. This has resulted in businesses needing to review their business models and structure themselves in a way that will safeguard their survival within the new economy.
Key points of reference for building a resilient supply chain can be broken down into:
- Digitisation – Paperless, contactless and secure
- Automation & Integration – Automating your digital space such as integration and operations using machines.
For supply chains to continue to operate and remain competitive, these points have transformed from being good ideas/nice to haves – to essential. If businesses do not transform and make key decisions around these innovations within their supply chain, their survival will be questionable and their ability to compete in the new economy will be compromised.
Warehousing is one of the key nodes within a supply chain operating across the globe. The warehouse ensures inventory is available for when the customer demands a product. Companies build / design warehouses not only based on today’s requirement, but take into consideration the future growth of the business and what will be required within the next 5 years’ to remain competitive. The reality is that very few businesses have built a warehouse to deal with a serious pandemic like COVID-19 in mind, resulting in the lack of ability to handle the needs of business due to the pressures from the pandemic.
In spite of best efforts, in the short term it’s not easy to change a warehouse configuration to cater for the changes in the business requirements. The only option businesses have today, is to make better use of their current warehousing capacity and become more efficient to deal with the pandemic. To add to the complexity, the new regulations around COVID-19 regarding social distancing and safe environment, increases the business challenges in the future.
A good place to start in terms of assessing your current warehouse capabilities, would be to ask what tools are currently in place to enable the warehouse to perform optimally?
Key objectives would be:
- Improved stock visibility
- Improved process structure
- Improved utilization of the warehouse space
- Improved labour efficiencies
- Improved customer service
- Reduced stock pilferage
- Reduced operational costs
- Improved product throughput
A WMS (Warehouse Management System) is one of many tools that can assist in terms of achieving these objectives.
CQuential Solutions forms part of the Argility Technology Group and is well positioned to assist with achieving the above objectives. Our tools have been implemented across many different verticals and size of warehouse. The Cquential team is made up of supply chain professionals and a strong development team to help you to transform your warehouse.
We believe that the supply chain is dynamic and ever changing, requiring in depth knowledge of your business to add value. We work closely with our customers to build and validate our roadmap to ensure our customers’ warehouses remain relevant and up to date with the latest technology to maintain a world class operation.