View original at www.dcvelocity.com
Each year, around this time, my colleagues and I stop to reflect on the milestones that our customers have made on their modernization journeys and contemplate how we can help manufacturers, warehouse operators, distributors, retailers and others continue to drive steady progress in the forthcoming year. But I don’t believe we can fairly assess this year’s actions against the past, at least not using the same lens as usual. Nor do I think companies can move forward in the same way they have in the past. Supply chain operations have been anything but ordinary in 2020, and I’m not sure 2021 is going to be the year we fully return to a pre-COVID-19 “normal.” The e-commerce peak season began to accelerate when the lockdowns took effect in March and could very well extend to next March (and beyond) as consumers’ preference for online ordering is growing. And the holiday shopping season arguably kicked off the moment Halloween decorations started adorning homes, which in many locales was in August – before school even resumed. In turn, many of your best-laid plans to upgrade or expand technology systems before the peak season may have been abandoned – or at least put on hold – due to circumstances beyond your control. In fact, many of you may have spent months reacting to the quickly changing consumption behaviors and omnichannel fulfillment demands that resulted from widespread shutdowns and safety concerns. At some point, you’ll need to go back on the offense if you want to increase your operational agility, which is really the only thing you can control right now. More specifically, increasing technology utilization to improve operational visibility and, therefore, agility is the only way to prepare your operations for any more extreme changes that customers (and, more fundamentally, the pandemic) may […]
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