Warehousing in 2021: A Year On From COVID
With Bray Solutions
Those once alien health and safety measures introduced a year ago due to COVID are now commonplace in our work environments, and as more time passes those changes become every day in the Warehousing industry.
But beyond the new measures, many other things have changed. An evolution in many cases, but also increased risk in others Today we discuss the landscape of the warehousing industry a year into COVID!
A Safe and Healthy Workplace
The first and foremost change is the Health and Safety protocols we now use. From Increasing the frequency of our handwashing and surface cleaning to using screens to separate our key workers, and in some cases redesigning our floor layouts to ensure no face-to-face work is required. All of these measures have altered the way in which our warehouses run.
In some businesses, this has meant retraining of staff that are considered ‘clinically vulnerable individuals’, as designated under the Government’s Guidelines. At this moment, all our staff have been able to continue working in safe COVID secure positions across the warehouses. Each member of our team is treated as the individual they are, which we pledge to continue to do.
Not just a Bridge
In 2020, Warehousing became the middle safe ground for a lot of manufacturers and retailers we found. As large workforces became as much of a risk as they were an asset, we were able to step up as the bridge between the two.
With our warehousing protocols updated with strong COVID safe environments and staff training up to scratch, we have been able to act not only as the bridge between but as a 4 lane highway for this new evolution of the supply chain. Ultimately allowing so many of the processes which were kept traditionally in-house with the manufacturers or retailers to reside within our warehouses.
Shorter-term logistics contracts
In 2020, our warehouses had to become more agile in response to the market, leading us to offer more flexible services and contracts. Long term contracts no longer worked for a large number of clients, as the ever-changing state of lockdowns caused havoc on supply and demand.
Additionally, changes in on-demand warehousing requirements also meant companies had smaller inventories, which needed to be spread out across more locations. Thus our systems needed to be able to handle the changes in stock volume, as well as in real-time know the location of stock.
Accelerated the Supply Chain Evolution
One of the most interesting elements accelerated by COVID was the changes to the low inventory strategy, switching to the constant availability of products strategy. Moving away from centralised warehousing, where lower levels of stock are needed, creates an overburden of stock levels. Consumers may get their products faster, but what happens to the left-over stock? Increased waste.
On the other side of the coin, COVID has caused an acceleration in the adoption of online purchasing, which may have been a blessing in disguise for the supply chain and warehousing industry. Consumers were already adapting to new ways of buying but such radical, across the board change, has meant all parts of the supply chain have evolved in equal measure, resulting in a smoother and more efficient change.
As mentioned in our previous blog, (Embracing IoT), automation has significantly impacted the industry in 2020. Most evidently in the areas of HR and Supply Chain Management, but it also enabled our warehouses to become more efficient through these new improved measures, as well as keep workers safe and healthy in all aspects of their lives.
Automation has also enabled us to reduce in the warehouse how many workers have contact with any such item, which has, in turn, reduced the risk of transference to our employees.
We’ve found the smallest of changes have had the biggest of impacts.
What Counts as a Perishable item? A perishable item is one that due to its composition is likely to spoil or expire quickly, and cannot last for long periods of time. They are also more likely to suffer adversely due to temperature, pressure or humidity changes....
Our Christmas 2021 Round-Up 2021 has been one of the busiest years in Bray Solutions history. We have seen a large increase of orders continued by the first lockdown as more and more people are now buying items online. Along with facing the challenge of the large...
In recent years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become two of the busiest dates on the calendar for many retailers, and in turn for 3PL’s who deliver on those bargain deals. Not only that, research estimated Brits would spend £275 each on average this year,...
When looking for a 3pl, warehouse scalability should be on your checklist of must-haves. We look into why this is and what we offer at Bray
We all know it’s happening, but do we realise the wider effect the HGV driver shortage is having on the industry? We take a look.