Written by: Mark Sell, President & CEO, MD Logistics
As the logistics industry continues to evolve, there are a myriad of changes that I think we will be witnessing over the course of the next decade. At MD Logistics, we have taken note and made changes to our business and service offerings to accommodate the evolving industry.
Current Trends & Future Predictions
In recent years, finding available people to fill the ever-growing needs of the warehouse has been a challenge. To offset current labor shortages, logistics professionals will continue to turn to technology to compensate, further sparking the continued advancement of automation, making every move in the warehouse intentional while maximizing productivity. I think we will also see a heightened use of IoT predictability to better forecast the demands of the consumer and increase communication along all points of the supply chain.
We have also witnessed the evolution of the customer experience. The end consumer continues to expect faster delivery options and a more connected, communicative experience with their delivery. These evolving expectations will continue to drive the adoption of automated delivery options; driverless vehicles, drones and other automated mechanisms that will change the way we think about physical deliveries. In addition, communication with the consumer will be more enhanced with real-time tracking capabilities throughout the delivery process. Widespread automation throughout the logistics process will aid an overall enhanced customer experience.
An additional change we are witnessing in the industry, is the need for added warehouse capacity. The speed by which business is responding to the demands of the consumer driven economy, will require quick, easily scalable capacity. The need for readily available, shared capacity to meet the needs of the consumer driven market, both in consumer goods and in healthcare are at an all-time high and I believe, will be at a premium in the foreseeable future.
MD Logistics’ Response
As we continue to witness these changes happening in the industry and with our own customers, our business and service offerings have evolved. To meet these needs we have introduced an additional element of technology and automation to the warehouse, launching a collaborative robot pilot program on the warehouse floor. With a successful integration, these cobots have added an additional layer of quality control to our picking process and allowed us to decrease our order processing times, overall aiding to an enhanced customer experience and increased speed to market. Additionally, these cobots have helped to combat the labor shortage the logistics industry is currently experiencing. Our team is now able to pick orders with the cobots, more efficiently than before.
To accommodate the growing needs of both our current and prospective life science customer’s, we have added an additional shared warehouse to our Plainfield, Indiana campus. This additional capacity is more than 175,000 square feet of state of the art, cGMP, temperature controlled storage. With more than 12,000 pallet positions currently available, this facility, allows us to better serve the needs of our customers and their expanding product lines as well as potential prospects with their evolving supply chain needs.
With this new, additional shared facility, we are able to offer increased, readily available capacity and services to customers who require flexible and variable warehouse capacity. The facility includes racking, conveyors, automated processes and various temperature storage environments. By offering a shared warehouse environment, complete with fully fixtured, variable space, there is the opportunity to share costs across customers. With a variable cost of entry, accessible infrastructure and existing quality systems, a shared services warehouse model is a way to gain a quick speed to market.
If you are searching for a third party logistics provider, drop us a line and let us know how MD Logistics can help you!