How warehouses can minimize supply chain problems
While the entire Suez Canal supply channel is no longer blocked, other supply chain issues remain. In fact, according to a recent report, 24 container ships – with a combined maximum load capacity nearly 10 times that of the Suez Canal ship – have recently been anchored off Los Angeles and Long Beach, which represents millions of dollars ” cargo value. While the two cases of bottlenecks occurred within days of each other, these traffic bottlenecks are not the primary culprit for clogged supply chains.
While shipping and other data are an important part of setting up successful logistics operations today, these areas alone cannot solve supply chain issues in real time. If logistics operators and organizations do not have the proper visibility into their warehouse data and operations, they cannot make rapid changes in response to supply chain issues and delays. The lack of full end-to-end visibility has also been a reason why so many manufacturers and suppliers have suffered. during the pandemic. Unfortunately for many organizations, this real-time visibility gap starts in the warehouse.
Bridging the Gap Begins in the Warehouse
Various factors are blamed on recent disruptions in the supply chain – the size of ships and containers, congestion in ports and the narrowness of the canal’s canals. In fact, the Port of Los Angeles in North America is one of the busiest canals, but cannot regularly accommodate 20,000 container ships due to the lack of infrastructure. Even so, correcting one of these factors will not really resolve the root causes of supply chain backlogs.
Improved visibility technology in warehouses, fleet management, and workforce resources saves companies dealing with supply chain backlogs in time and money. For example, real-time access to data to determine which trucks have been seated and for how long has become essential for prioritizing and assigning tasks within the distribution center to improve customer satisfaction, minimize risk and avoid costly and unnecessary costs. But without real-time visibility on the site, appointments can be de-prioritized, delayed or missed. The warehouse is the heart of the supply chain, but very few end-to-end tools solve the problems of warehouse visibility and workforce management.
Changing supply chain strategies
While the warehouse is already the most technologically advanced area of the supply chain, it is the transportation network within the supply chain that typically incorporates real-time data tools, this which leaves a huge void in the visibility of the end-to-end supply chain. Most operations find that there are simply too many data points and too much information to process to create real-time views that don’t expire and are actionable when distribution teams need to make ad hoc decisions. . Warehouse data without science is just noise, and analytics without actionable insights is just a spreadsheet. Changing the strategy to close the gap includes a series of standard KPIs, live operation views, productivity metrics, inventory visibility and workforce management that are really useful for improving warehouse management systems (WMS) already in place.
As evidenced by recent lockdowns, the impact of this lack of real-time warehouse visibility on the global supply chain is still in critical condition. Moreover, even without significant issues such as channel blockages or a global pandemic, the supply chain regularly suffers from thousands of “mini-disruptions” that end in both distribution operations and customers. suffer from Therefore. Without supply chain visibility tools for the warehouse, manufacturers and suppliers suffer the same consequences as a channel backlog or a global pandemic, but on an ongoing, daily basis.
Supply chain managers should incorporate real-time warehouse visibility into their end-to-end supply chain optimization strategies to increase overall distribution efficiency and reduce the risk associated with business operations. problems inside the warehouse that result not only from blocked channels, but also from an invisible blockage in their own four walls.