Change is happening quickly, forcing businesses to adapt to the constant flow of innovation, disruption, and chaos that is pushing the supply chain industry to automate at a rapid pace.
At November’s Distribution and Logistics Summit, Dematic sat down with corresponding industry experts to discuss the challenges associated with the drastically evolving supply chain landscape.
What happens when tight labour markets, an overwhelming volume of Big Data, unpredictable demand, and competitive pressures all converge to make transformational change unattainable?
Debate and discussion ensued as similar questions poured from key speakers, panelists, and the audience, almost all circling back to how supply chain professionals can address the effects of E-commerce and changing customer demands on their operations. Throughout the show, solution providers showcased technologies to address the growing challenges of the market.
At the Dematic booth, visitors experienced the virtual warehouse, slipping on a pair of VR glasses and walking through a digital representation of an operating facility. Highlighting Dematic iQ Virtual, software engineers illustrated how the emulation and simulation platform digitally models the impact of software and operational changes, better preparing the warehouse or DC for the future without negatively affecting day-to-day operations.
Outside of the exhibit floor, Dematic teamed with various companies speaking on next-gen technology and the future of the labour force in Canada’s supply chain and logistics sector.
“The industry is full of buzzwords like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Machine Learning but, [Dematic] as an industry leader, we must provide the meaning behind them and the education to use the technology successfully,” said Kim Baudry, Dematic Market Development Director and speaker on next-gen technologies.
In the session, Baudry highlighted the latest innovations in Robotic Order Fulfillment, Automated Guided Vehicles, and Predictive Analytics.
Moving through the day, Derek Lynch, Director of Sales, joined a small group of panelists discussing Canada’s labour challenge and the future of the market.
“We do the industry a disservice if we don’t share information on the state of the market and how all levels of automation can be introduced to meet the labour challenge,” said Lynch.
“We see the fear of automation in smaller businesses often based on cost and complicated ROI development, however as the workforce continues to shrink, all businesses have to consider automation to remain competitive. A healthy business has an operations team that sees the trends, utilizes the data, and makes informed decisions to maintain optimal conditions. Dematic has been able to use this opportunity to share how we help businesses do that using an agnostic approach.”
Dematic sessions closed with a sponsored panel hosting Meijer, and Meibach Consulting, both focusing on Micro-Fulfillment technology.
Moderator Matt Walker, Dematic’s Voice of the Customer on Micro-Fulfillment, explained why urbanization has created the demand for the technology and how Micro-Fulfillment solutions have changed how businesses understand the warehousing and distribution environment.
“The transport industry has already begun to address increasing population density in urban areas, we see small carriers pop up every day in cities across North America. Only now is warehousing and distribution catching up. This year, at the DLS, we are showcasing Dematic Micro-Fulfillment technology.” said Walker.
Micro-Fulfillment is a highly flexible, intelligent automation solution giving businesses with high throughput requirements the flexibility to fulfill orders quickly and in a small footprint. The Dematic solution empowers the operation, maximizing space while achieving profitability with in-store and ecommerce ordering. Ultimately, the technology advances the omni-channel distribution strategy to give customers what they want, when they want it with one-hour fulfillment.
“Dematic is a differentiator in this technology, we offer fast implementation and ROI while tying into 3rd party inventory management, warehouse, and ERP systems. Most significantly, unlike competitors, Dematic’s Micro-Fulfillment solution allows businesses to own their customer data. There is no intermediary between customer shopping data and the business, allowing full visibility to valuable insights at no further cost.”
The solutions highlighted at the Distribution and Logistics summit demonstrate a small sampling of Dematic offerings to optimize the supply chain. To learn more visit Dematic.com or contact Natalie.Nimchand@dematic.com.
Dematic is a leading supplier of automated technology, Dematic employs over 7,000 skilled logistics professionals to serve its customers globally, with engineering centres and manufacturing facilities located around the world. Dematic is one brand under the KION Group of companies and has implemented more than 6,000 integrated systems for a customer base that includes small, medium and large companies doing business in a variety of market sectors.