Dear friends and valued partners,
It’s hard to believe 2019 is coming to a close. Another year down and I can’t help but think of how our world continues to evolve, as technology influences industry trends. Many of the same trends that I spoke to last year continue to effect the industry and how we operate, moving forward. With instant communication and social media, the global economy and the Amazon effect, everyone expects and even demands that products and services be available around the clock and delivery be near instant. This dynamic is placing demands on supply chains like never before. As the industry around us continues to change and evolve, one thought rings true. We need to be cognizant of the world around us and embrace change or we will become irrelevant. If we at MD Logistics are going to continue to enjoy the success and growth we have come to expect, we must continue to evolve with the demands of the industry and make investments in both our people and capacity in order to continue to meet the demands of our future.
Technology is something we must continue to incorporate into our warehouses to help us better service the needs of our customers. Earlier this year, in an effort to increase efficiency and create an additional layer of quality control within our warehouse, we introduced a collaborative robot program to our retail and consumer goods facility. After a successful integration, we are witnessing both increased productivity and picking accuracy rates and are currently exploring additional opportunities to add elements of automation to other areas of our warehouse environments. Within our pharmaceutical operations, serialization and the DSCSA mandate has led us to evaluate the way we scan and capture data at the warehouse level. With numerous options currently available on the market, we are evaluating the best way to create a controlled serialized capture process that provides the best experience for our associates, but offers the control that enables efficient serialized capture. Continuing to invest in best in class technology to maintain our customer focused perspective is top of mind for us.
The Amazon effect continues to change the way consumers shop. With the impending Amazon entry into the pharmaceutical sector, we believe it will have some impact on how we operate as a 3PL. Moving forward, there may be a need for a more direct to patient service offering speed and convenience in delivery of therapies and medicines at the forefront. This is partly driven by the internet of things (IoT), but also by the necessity to streamline the supply chain and make medicines more affordable for the consumer. Keeping this top of mind, we are evaluating options in preparation to respond to this need, in a quick and efficient manner.
As we look forward to future expansion there are a variety of different factors to consider. The last mile experience consumers have come to expect, requires us to be able to deliver our customers products as quickly and efficiently as possible. While our current footprint in Plainfield, IN and Reno, NV provide our customers with both great coverage, effective shipping windows and customer reach, we are looking to both predictive technologies, like AI, and input from our clients to better forecast future demand to evaluate where and how we need to improve service. This evaluation of customer demand and service has led me to believe that we will need to add additional geographical locations to more strategically locate our distribution processes closer to the consumer to take advantage of later shipping windows and expedited ground services.
Last and most importantly, the people who make up our team continue to be our greatest asset. The last couple of years we have invested in and ramped up our internal training program to provide our team members with the tools they need to flourish in the high demand environment we now operate in. As we move in to 2020, this investment will continue to be a high priority for our business especially considering the tight labor market we are faced with. As we move forward, I think we will see more technology and automation to make our existing teams more efficient, enabling us to respond to additional market demands with the team we have built.
2019 has been another record year for MD Logistics. We continue to experience manageable growth while maintaining a quality of service our customers have come to expect from us. Perhaps the highlight of our year, from a growth perspective, was the addition of a fourth facility to our Plainfield, IN campus. This facility has 180,000 square feet of state of the art, warehousing capacity to accommodate a multitude of storage options to fit the industry’s growing need for compliant, readily available space. This expansion along with a focus on future scalable capacity, team training and embracing future trends in technology has us well positioned to evolve and be prepared to meet the challenges of our new world. We are thankful for all the opportunities our customers have provided us and look forward to the coming new year.
All the best,