Covid- 19 has been the trending topic of conversation across the world for the past two years. It has drastically changed the way we do things, and the way contemporary business is operated. Businesses have had to adapt to overcome the challenges faced by the pandemic in order to survive and stay relevant. Today we look at some of the obvious negative impacts that have occured in the warehouse logistics industry, how the industry has persevered through these obstacles, the positive changes that have followed and future changes/ trends that are potentially in store.
What’s gone wrong?
Covid and its many tentacles of destruction have been able to disrupt business in a variety of ways, some in more ways than others. For warehouse logistics and supply chain, the main effects have been through staff retention issues with a loss of workers, hygiene and work environment requirements and a severe delay in meeting demand for product supply. Due to snap lockdowns with little to no notice, it has put immense pressure on Managers to make the hard decisions like cutting staff or laying people off.
What’s gone right?
Now it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. According to Forbes Magazine, Covid has accelerated the growth of e-commerce by 4-6 years. Due to so many people being left at home to their own devices, they’ve been forced to get into new hobbies, and for the most part that involves online shopping.
What changes can we expect to see moving forward?
Adapt and overcome seems to be the ethos for all businesses. With the constant changes in technology, digital implementation in the workplace and external effects such as a global pandemic, whoever is best able to adapt to rapid change will be the companies that are the best off. According to Sean Harapko from EY, one of the US’s biggest supply chains, there are going to be 3 key aspects of supply that companies will need to prioritise over the next 1 - 3 years. These are staff retention and the re-skilling of further training of current employees, the all time obvious of increasing warehouse efficiency and most importantly, increasing visibility.
Forbes estimates that COVID accelerated the growth of e-commerce approximately 4 to 6 years
Increase in demand
Technology-based warehouses were better off
Future trends - How are we going to change moving forward?
Reskilling current workers
Environmental sustainability goals
Shifting workplace design to accommodate for social distancing - staggering pick and pack and lunch breaks