2020 started with a record backlog and high levels of optimism for a great year ahead, only to be hit with the challenges of COVID-19! Our customers, for the most part, shut down in January through March. The U.S. experienced a record unemployment rate and we all experienced what I can only describe as, a few weeks of chaos.
Companies stopped paying bills, many filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and a number of projects were cancelled or put on hold.
The silver lining? Many of our clients experienced double-digit growth in E-commerce and direct-to-consumer fulfilment activities. Internationally, our systems have helped businesses like Dimerc in Chile, be able to fulfill essential orders and help the local governments get food and essential supplies out to people in quarantining at home.
We weathered a significant storm while continuing to support our clients by implementing safe working procedures at our manufacturing plants and at customer field installations.
We are working on exciting installations at Maersk, lululemon and Dillard’s, which include technologies like:
In May, CNBC did a great piece on automation during COVID-19, where they reached out to us as their expert source. We look forward to helping businesses as they weather through all these changes.
Stay safe and healthy!
Krish Nathan– CEO
How has DIMERC managed its Distribution Center in the current crisis?
We have adapted to demand, the increase in sales by volume, and have adapted measures to take care of our people in the DC as well as drivers.
Do you think there will be permanent changes in the way DIMERC does things after COVID-19?
Yes, working remotely was something DIMERC had already implemented and we’re going to consolidate it.
Many offices seem to have adopted working from home more, have your clients buying habits changed?
Yes, we have had an increase in sales of cleaning products and medical supplies. We have clients who have bought cleaning products for their employees and we’ve shipped it to their individual homes.
How have you implemented self-care measures inside and outside the DC?
We have taken measures to take care of our people by using special suits, masks, gloves and antibacterial gel in the DC and buses. We also have a sanitizing tunnel at the entrance.
SDI, a leading provider of materials handling systems and technology solutions to the retail, wholesale, fulfillment and e-commerce industries, will cancel its annual SDI Executive Logistics Forum in February 2021.
In its 13th year, this two-day Forum has been hugely successful. It’s an event that Materials Handling and Logistics leaders from all over the globe look forward to attending. Unfortunately, with the advent of COVID-19, several uncertainties make it difficult to proceed with planning of SELF21.
The current situation poses difficulties with possible travel restrictions, safety and securing different venues.
“It is too difficult to put an event of such magnitude, when so many things are uncertain,” Krish Nathan, CEO, said “Safety is our main concern and we prefer being overly cautious, even if it’s at the expense of our biggest event of the year.” SDI plans of resuming SELF in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2022.
“We have committed to being at ProMat 2021 and we will keep that commitment,” Nathan added. “Perhaps we will organize events around it and try and recreate some of that fun atmosphere.” You can visit SDI’s ProMat booth S3812.
Pick/Put/Pass Systems can function in the “Goods-To-Person” modality. They can drastically reduce people’s walking, since it’s really the products or ortders that travel looking for their destination. If you take into consideration that of the time a picker spends in the DC, 50% of it is spent walking, you can more easily visualize the efficiency such systems can provide.
The types of operations that could benefit from these systems vary depending on the needs. It can be good for:
• E-Commerce: allowing batch picking by zones and assisted sorting by activating the lights when the order in the bin is finalized (Put and Pass).
• Retail: each one of the bins/boxes represents a store, and the items are sorted into each store (Put and Pass).
• E-Commerce/Retail: bins/boxes start empty and they travel (rollers/belts) looking for the products associated with each order in their specific zones (Pick and Pass).
This year, taking into consideration the current global pandemic, we will be hosting these online. We will be updating out website with the most up-to-date information regarding these.