The logistics sector has been one of the most affected by the pandemic. The confusion of the new situation, the various changes taking place in the market and the restrictions between the borders, have caused many changes in the supply chain.
However, thanks to the boom in e-commerce, the activity of logistics companies has increased (between 50 and 60%). This situation made it possible to uncover and resolve weak points in the supply chain.
In this article we will do a brief analysis of the situation of the sector before the pandemic, the new professional profile that has emerged to meet all the needs and the evolution of digitization.
The logistics sector before the pandemic
The human factor was the most worrying at the start of the pandemic. Companies have had to downsize due to the state of alarm and containment to avoid increasing the number of infections.
Logistics has become an essential sector because without it, during the quarantine, the supply of household, food or pharmaceutical products would not have been possible. The backlog of orders and the backlog of work have been alleviated thanks to the excellent service that the workers provide on a daily basis.
Changes in the consumption habits of the population during the lockdown period have caused demand to explode. One of the main driving forces behind this is the rise of e-commerce, which has become one of the key engines for the growth of the logistics industry.
This growth is expected to continue in e-commerce warehousing, transportation and distribution services. At the time of the pandemic, that meant many companies had to rent additional space for storage, while others were opting for overtime in their workers’ workforce to secure a supply.
The rapid adaptation of the sector has allowed activity to gradually normalize.
Related to supply, as mentioned above, sick leave, transportation issues, and limitations within the country have caused a great shortage of components and raw materials. This led to the collapse of the global supply chain and the slowdown in production.
A new figure of worker: the versatile employee
The human factor continues to be one of the key points in any sector. Due to COVID-19, workers are requesting time off and must limit themselves to having potential positive effects. Companies must now have versatile employees, to maintain the activity of the company,
“Multitasking” is necessary to adapt as quickly as possible to any change in the environment, which is why logistics operators are developing more training oriented towards this. Being versatile was already a characteristic in favor of the worker, but now it is a necessary requirement since it is the one that best adapts to this new reality.
Social benefits have become a complement for logistics companies, because by providing them with training opportunities that allow them to perform different activities, they will be able to break this monotonous work routine that could affect the motivation of their workers. Having a team of professionals who adapt to different situations adds value to businesses and adds more value to a business.
Along with health workers, supermarket staff and pharmacists, workers in logistics companies have been recognized as “essential workers”. The functioning of society during the pandemic was made possible in part by its services. It has become one of the most important assets that guarantee consumer satisfaction and business success.
The demand for workers in the sector will increase as this new standard will last for many years.
Logistics professionals have rethought the way they work because of the pandemic. Adapting to the different changes that occur in the market is essential to remain competitive.
The changes that take place in the chain are essential and dynamic. Companies must adapt to the situation and must therefore improve their productivity and make their organization more flexible.
Thanks to the digitalization of the sector, all the problems of slowness and delay of the sector are being solved.
Human capital vs. automating
The incorporation of robots to perform the most complicated tasks (order picking and classification) has been one of the main solutions to solve the many losses of the human factor and the high demand from consumers.
Workers who were already familiar with the technology adapted more easily. In addition, the company supports the creation of “freeCOVID” spaces.
Picking is the key activity in which orders are prepared. All individual units are put together and put together in a common package. For warehouse and supply chain management, it is an effective solution in which productivity is improved and labor cost of operations is reduced.
The high strength and precision, adding the compact size of the robots, allows the tasks to be faster and continuous (as it can run 24 hours a day if it has multi-robot interactive learning).
Some of the benefits it offers are reduced operation errors, labor costs (50-70%) and storage. The return on investment is estimated to be two or three years.
Sorting, on the other hand, is the activity in which packages are transported from one side of the warehouse to the other. Robots help reduce the labor cost of operations and increase productivity.
With the rise of e-commerce, the digitization of this part has been an essential aspect for companies because it is necessary to meet a greater demand and a more efficient and dynamic mode of operation is necessary. The return on investment is estimated to be around a year.
The union of workers and robots to make tasks that require greater involvement more enjoyable is what we call logistics 4.0. Hybridization is happening more and more in all sectors, however, within a few years we will surely have reached another much more innovative type.
Companies must innovate not only in the aspect of digitization, but must also take into account the human factor. Pay-on-demand is a new form of compensation that allows workers to recoup the portion of their wages already earned when they need it. Thanks to this type of social benefit, it is possible to significantly reduce financial stress and improve productivity, why not offer it?
Find out all about pay on demand with Accrual