Whereas Trendy readers are feeling the strains that the astonishing development of e-commerce have positioned on operations, a abstract of statistics just lately shared with me by Ian Hobkirk, founder and managing director of Commonwealth Provide Chain Advisors, put that explosiveness into context.
“As a share of complete retail gross sales, e-commerce has been taking about 1 to 1.5 share factors a 12 months away from brick-and-mortar gross sales fairly steadily for the final 5 years,” says Hobkirk. “In 2020, e-commerce market share grew by 4% within the second quarter. That signifies that when the pandemic first hit, we noticed the equal of greater than three years of pure e-commerce development in only a month or two.”
I preserve pondering the residual results of this intense development might be nothing however constructive, as we proceed to listen to about warehouse and DC operations taking a contemporary take a look at the world round them and pushing innovation ahead.
This month in Trendy, we provide tales that problem us to refresh our understanding of operations, software program and processes. This month’s System Report is an operation that threw open the home windows for a breath of contemporary air because of the e-commerce growth.
Allied Electronics & Automation, a number one omni-channel distributor of digital components and automation controls based mostly in Forth Price, Texas, was fulfilling all of its North American orders from an current 300,000-square-foot facility that went reside in 2007. As government editor Bob Trebilcock studies, the ability featured some automation, however the firm knew its gear and processes wouldn’t be capable of sustain with the corporate’s daring development plans.
“Immediately Allied does about 40% of its enterprise by way of their e-commerce channel, however the crew sees that rising to over 60% within the subsequent 4 years,” says Trebilcock. “In addition they have formidable plans to greater than double the variety of SKUs stocked within the facility, in order that they went about an formidable refresh plan to fulfill these targets.”
Allied added greater than 200,000 sq. toes to the prevailing constructing and applied a wide range of automated supplies dealing with programs to enhance total operations and grow to be extra labor environment friendly. “To me, this story is refreshing for 2 causes,” says Trebilcock. “First, fairly than abandon an current facility and ranging from scratch, they took what was already there and improved upon it.” The second, says Trebilcock, is the corporate’s full embrace of automation. “It’s their heritage, since they promote the components, elements and merchandise which can be the spine of automated programs,” he says.
Senior editor Roberto Michel dares us to refresh our understanding of enterprise useful resource planning (ERP), particularly for the small to medium-sized enterprise (SMB). As he studies, for much too lengthy, ERP has been known as “again workplace” software program.
“However for a lot of corporations, particularly SMBs, ERP is how they get issues completed on the frontlines—and that’s far more than ‘again workplace,’” says Michel. “One SMB person I talked to was in a position to make use of a warehouse selecting and packing app from its ERP vendor and run it on low-cost Android gadgets to maintain tempo of their warehouse with out including headcount—even within the face of speedy development. And that’s something however boring.”
In regards to the Writer
Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Provide Chain Group of publications and web sites together with Logistics Administration, Provide Chain Administration Assessment, Trendy Supplies Dealing with, and Materials Dealing with Product Information. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who began out on the Pittsburgh Press as a enterprise reporter and has spent the final 17 years within the business-to-business press. He’s been masking the logistics and provide chain markets for the previous seven years. You may attain him at [email protected]
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