Hello Gerrit! You’ve been to a few trade fairs in the last few weeks and talked to various people from the logistics sector.
Question: What would you currently define as the biggest pain points/challenges in the field of warehouse logistics?
At the moment, there are 2 current pain points in the area of logistics and generally in the supply chain, which were mainly caused by Corona. Many industries have been hit hard by the pandemic and have suffered very negative effects. For us in the logistics sector, it is exactly the opposite. At the moment, we are particularly concerned with 2 problems:
1. there is too little storage space.
E-commerce companies are springing up like never before and online trade in general is growing faster than ever. This speed of growth, caused by the pandemic, was not planned by many companies. Due to the increased orders, more storage space is needed for products, but there is a lack of real estate that can be used for this purpose. Due to these increased shipments and goods that need to be processed, a second problem is clearly emerging:
2. lack of skilled workers in logistics.
Good employees in logistics are very hard to find and many companies have too few workers to cope with the volume of work. For this reason, many companies are crying out for automation. So, it is not only error reduction that is a reason for automated processes.
However, for those companies that want or need to automate, there are very long waiting times. Sometimes there are delivery times of more than 2 years if you order something now.
If you look at the whole logistics environment, the problems start even earlier. Containers are scarce, you can no longer get the goods from A to B, electronics and other components from other parts of the world are not available.
The main problem is: the availability of goods and the ability to deliver them quickly.
Another problem that is becoming apparent is that due to the Corona pandemic, people are increasingly dealing with the current challenges, but issues that were very relevant before are moving into the background. This concerns, for example, the problem of CO² emissions and their reduction. Many companies fear for their existence and have therefore withdrawn somewhat from such topics. But we must not lose sight of that. Especially if you look at the big mail order companies, the following problem often arises:
Products are delivered in packaging that is simply much too big. This in turn means that containers fill up more quickly and fewer goods can be transported at once. The problem usually stems from the fact that many customers work with data that is very poor and therefore the packaging calculation does not work. An example of this is that products are often delivered in boxes that are 4 times the size of the product box itself. This means that at the end of the day the truck is full, but actually only 25% has been loaded or used.
We have to make much better use of the resources available to us and the reduction of CO² emissions must remain a priority goal!
Question: What solutions does KHT offer to better address these challenges?
KHT starts with its solutions at the base. Collecting master data on articles correctly and completely is essential if you want to solve shipping problems. With our measuring devices, we can measure a wide variety of items, combine orders and, in the end, calculate which shipping cartons are needed. Nowadays, as an end consumer, you can easily see from a shipping box which of the companies is working with good data and which is working with bad data. This is exactly where we come in with the MultiScan. We capture data and item specifications (e.g. fragility) right at the beginning of the supply chain so we can reduce such issues.
With the CartonScan, we are also able to measure the cartons at goods issue so that we know how much weight and shipping volume we have.
If you combine both devices, you are in an excellent position to use existing resources (such as trucks) efficiently and reduce shipping volumes. This in turn reduces the amount of CO² emissions per shipment.
Another advantage that comes with correctly recorded and well-maintained master data is that you can better utilise your warehouse space. So, we don’t motivate customers to build bigger warehouses (which involves long delivery times), but to use their existing warehouse space more efficiently. Some customers often don’t realise that they often only use 40% of their warehouse.
So: optimise warehouses and create new capacities.
The advantage with measuring technology solutions from KHT:
Our products function according to a modular system. This means that although they can be individually configured and adapted to customer needs, they can be assembled from existing parts in a short time. In most cases, we can deliver finished units to customers within 2 weeks. These then only need to be connected to the WMS system and the customer can get started. By the way, these delivery times for machines have become a rarity.
Question: What will the future of warehouse logistics look like?
We have to be aware that the challenges created by the Corona crisis will remain in the future. Rapid growth, expansion of capacities, problems with the availability of goods and a shortage of skilled workers are issues that will continue to occupy us.
In the future, we will have to further automate logistics and it will be more necessary than ever to collect data in order to be able to use the modern software systems, because data is the new gold and indispensable for today’s supply chains. We also need to understand that the fast delivery times we have become accustomed to can only be realised if we make better use of resources. Companies need to plan better and be more responsive to the customer to ensure fast delivery. This only works in the following ways:
- Create better, sustainable data for the supply chain
- Better utilise and bundle resources
This is exactly what we do at KHT. We collect data and we want to help calculate appropriate things with sensible planning and tangible data. So that we can get more on a truck, more on a container and more in a delivery vehicle and so that at the end of the day we also know what we have shipped and where.
We optimise many supply chain processes with our devices.
Thank you for the interview Gerrit and let’s talk in a few months if the situation has changed.