Challenges of large DCs and some solutions
The last year has seen an extreme shift in how large company operations are organized. The distribution centers, essential in the logistics chain, were the most affected and became a key element in the development of an operational plan that continued without errors.
Mediating delivery to consumers is no longer the main function of these centers, they are now responsible for optimizing logistical processes, allowing the minimization of errors, and enabling the application of more satisfactory results.
Consequently, they started to face problems that became real obstacles to the dynamic development of the routine. In the meantime, managers and administrators need to learn to clearly delimit the adversities to understand how distribution centers can contribute to the advancement of operations.
The demand for varied products has faced a considerable change in the last few decades. Not only did the import-export rate increase, but the domestic demand also grew.
The number of consumers has grown exponentially, and if we are talking exclusively about sales through e-commerce, around 20.2 million new consumers were registered in 2020, according to data from NeoTrust, which corresponds to 36.7 % of the previous amount.
But this is just the beginning of the impasse.
These consumers also consume in different ways. Retail purchases surpassed wholesale, which caused an increase in the number of purchases of a few units. This demands even more from the distribution centers, which need to intensify their activities.
Order cycles have also changed. There are no longer large seasonal purchases, such as Christmas, Easter and promotional seasons, now purchases are distributed throughout the year and show small cycles.
As a result, consumers began to demand a greater variety of products. That is, in addition to growing, demand has also become more specific.
All of this overloads teams that need to develop alternatives that make the organization richer and tasks more agile.
Many resort to automation to solve and make it possible for employees not to have to unfold in many tasks on a daily basis. In fact, it facilitates the mechanization of repetitive tasks, delivering homogeneous results, without compromising the well-being of the team.
The workforce faces a phase of shortage in the logistics market and a prolonged period of turnover, with little attraction and retention of professionals.
This happens because there are two extremes happening simultaneously: There are many highly qualified professionals applying for operational positions and others who are less prepared for the vacancies they are applying for. This makes the hiring process difficult, after all, they will only be in the position for a short time because they do not fit the profile sought.
Consequently, professionals with stable careers and more experience are entering the retirement phase. Consequently, trained professionals are scarce.
Here automation can also become a solution. As operational jobs of repetitive tasks can be accommodated for these autonomous systems, creative trades, which require human action, are filled without delay.
With the movement, the sector tends to become less organized. There are more objects to be manipulated, more people to sector and many tasks to complete.
With this, the organization is affected and in jobs that require dynamism and involve deliveries, this is crucial, as a single error can trigger widespread disorder.
The most viable solution is to invest in efficient management that considers the importance of direct communication, division of labor and the implementation of a standardized system that optimizes the distribution of products.
In this case, it is important to consider security as part of the organization. After all, well-organized environments are safer and ensure the protection of employees. Strategic management also considers preventive maintenance of the system, ensuring that all points are controlled and that everything is in order.
Not only has consumer thinking changed rapidly, but so has technology. New tools emerge daily and those already implemented in a company are often outdated.
It is essential to move forward and implement techniques that modernize everyday life. After all, with high demand, consumers began to demand more efficient results and faster deliveries.
Innovating and investing in novelties can be a positive alternative for those who wish to update their way of working. This is because distribution centers keep up with changes in society and need to be updated as new technologies emerge.
It is worth remembering that distribution centers also store goods and large loads. Therefore, they face constant inventory replenishment.
With all the movement, there may be low accuracy of the data collected. With little control, we do not pay due attention to routine mistakes and, little by little, the situation escalates.
This is where innovative technology can make a difference. Specific software manages to organize the demands, manage the stock and make a meticulous control of the inventory.
Distribution centers are strategic points in the internal organization of a company, being able to guide and streamline the day-to-day business. However, they can only do this based on an idealized and personalized management for the activity in question.
So, how about undertaking with confidence and implementing technologies that transform the way your company’s distribution center is organized?
(The text above was written with information from the websites blog.portalvmi.com.br, Desafiosdalogistica.com.br and the article published by Hélcio Fernando Lenz in Revista Tecnológica)