Complete assembly line for Lean Manufacturing

The 4 Supply Chain Trends for 2022

Complete assembly line for Lean Manufacturing
Complete assembly line for Lean Manufacturing

Matthew Burton, chief of supply chain and operations of EY EMEIA, in a recent article concerning the Supply Chain, said how the supply chain difficulties have led companies to rapidly develop new methods in the Logistics management.

Companies are taking advantage of this difficult moment to invest in new Supply Chain technologies, capable of improving processes and reducing risks.

In a recent article published on LinkedIn, on the professions most requested by the job market, we can find:

  • Robotic engineer: who deal with robots design and testing, therefore everything that also concerns the automation of processes, which is increasingly fundamental in the material handling.
  • Machine learning and data engineer: involved in the automatic algorithms design and artificial intelligence systems. An essential role for data collection, in order to make the Supply Chain more resilient to external changes.
  • Sustainability manager: who supervise the implementation of sustainability strategies within companies. It means also everything related to the environment, health, safety and quality measures.

So let’s see some new trends for 2022, concerning the Supply Chain.

Kitting trolleys to manage Supply Chain, with a Lean Manufacturing logic.
Lean Kitting Trolleys

Supply Chains

Also in 2022 a similar trend is expected for the supply chains to 2021. This will cause serious slowdowns and limitations for companies that need to procure raw materials.

Prices will increase, as will the timing of the product, causing damage to final consumers.

Companies must be attentive to the warehouse flows organization, inventory management and to the products delivery to their customers.

Solutions

They need to depend less on global supply chains, bringing them closer to their customers. For example, bringing part of the production processes into your company.

Solutions, such as Flow Racks, could be implemented in the order preparation area, because they can optimize production flows.

They guarantee an efficient rotation of FIFO materials, reducing the operator’s efforts, increasing the production about 150%. An advantage, also in terms of smaller footprint and greater efficiency.

Flow Racks for line side picking

E-commerce

Consumers today can buy any type of good online, and it is reasonable to think that e-commerce will continue to grow in 2022 as well.

An e-Commerce warehouse must be fast, accurate and timely in deliveries. Furthermore, the packaging and assembly operations must be efficient.

Solutions

To have a this type of warehouse, operators need customized and modular solutions, which support the picking and preparation of orders.

Workstations that allow the operator not to make excessive efforts and to spend too much time searching for the material. Therefore, the application of the 5S method is essential to eliminate all those activities that have no added value.

Another area on which to investigate and act, concerns the material handling. A tedious and repetitive process, which forces the operators to travel several kilometers inside the plant. A process which is not ergonomic and unsafe.

Reviewing the traditional methods and taking the first steps into automation, is an excellent solution to improve Intralogistics operations, and therefore also the e-commerce warehouse management.

Lean Manufacturing workstations
Lean Workstations

Omnichannel strategy and last mile management

Customers expect faster deliveries, this means that companies must invest and focus on new order fulfillment methodologies.

A flexible warehouse becomes essential, able to easily react to changes in customers demand, increasing or reducing storage capacity, depending on the period.

Solutions

In an uncertain and constantly evolving scenario, relying on accessible and easy-to-manage automation could be a solution to decrease production and order fulfillment times, increasing flexibility.

In addition to this, it is necessary to eliminate repetitive activities and reduce bottlenecks, using systems such as dynamic roller conveyors, which are able to optimize space management and increase the processes speed.

Gravity Feed Conveyors
Gravity Feed Conveyors

Sustainability

Reducing energy emissions and the raw materials consumption are crucial aspects that consumers are looking at more and more when making a purchase decision.

Companies must pay attention to the origin and the procurement of raw materials and to the management of them during the production phase. For example by reviewing the processes of warehousing, packaging, picking and shipping of materials.

Solutions

Gravity systems, such as Flow Racks or dynamic roller conveyors, or Low Cost Automation, do not use electricity, respecting the environment and allowing sustainable and efficient management of raw materials.

This leads to lower costs related to procurement and savings in energy used in the factories.

Low Cost Automation

Conclusions

Companies must structure optimized processes to be able to manage the increase in demand and the market demands speed, to be successful. From picking to product delivery, each step must work as efficiently as possible while ensuring the highest quality.

The warehouse must be able to store more and more material, but at the same time it is necessary to make the picking, packaging and shipping products areas more efficient, in order to obtain and maintain maximum performance.

Reducing the space occupied eliminates downtime, costs and the paths that operators have to travel to pick up materials. With the continuous increase in product deliveries, it is necessary to adopt new structures and organizational systems, able to face with this new reality.

Having an efficient and sustainable structure allows you to face space constraints and new organizational challenges. So what better opportunity to start developing new projects, capable of optimizing and improving the management of the Supply Chain.

Sources