Throughout the past few years, consumers have shown strong preferences toward more sustainable products, requesting companies they do business with use recycled materials, rely less on fossil fuels and do whatever they can to cause no further harm to the environment we live in. This goes across every industry – from energy to retail to food and beverage to technology.
To support these initiatives, consumers are willing to spend more on environmentally friendly products from brands they think value and incorporate sustainability into their practices.
Like many of you, we have been moving toward becoming a more sustainable global organization, particularly in the food and beverage industry where waste is often prevalent. Sadly, 1.3 tons – about one-third of food suitable for human consumption – is wasted each year.
To accommodate consumer demands, operational costs and growing expectations for sustainability, Körber knows the future of the food and beverage supply chain relies on automation and solutions to transform businesses environments. In the cold chain in particular, our solutions help decrease costs and issues surrounding sustainability.
However, our technology isn’t just for the cold chain. Our software also ensures you comply with government regulations and food contamination and expiration challenges, helping you get closer to reaching your sustainability goals.
Tech helps lessen increasing supply chain complexity
You already know today’s supply chain is complex, as many of you are handling more products from more suppliers through more channels than ever before. At the same time, the number of SKUs and smaller delivery quantities are increasing, particularly due to the sharp rise in eCommerce, while the number of workers available to handle these increasing orders are declining in most areas of the world.
Long before the ongoing Great Resignation in the United State and a decrease in the post-pandemic labor pool in most areas around the globe, recruiting and retaining warehouse workers was problematic, especially in the cold chain industry. Who, after all, wants to work in harsh environments with sub-zero temperatures? Stemming from these issues, three challenges are prevalent for most warehouses and distribution centers (DCs):
- Labor costs
- Labor scarcity
- Energy costs, especially since 50% of energy in the cold chain comes from refrigeration
However, our solutions help decrease escalating costs, address increased customer demand and work toward improving sustainability – all while doing more with fewer employees or at least enabling them to perform other valuable tasks.
Industry recognition for sustainability efforts
Although making a positive impact on the environment is reward enough, when others notice, it’s priceless. Körber recently received a Green Supply Chain Award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive, a publication covering the global supply chain that focuses on areas including warehousing, packaging, risk management, trucking and procurement.
The recognition was for some of our supply chain software solutions that stand out in terms of sustainability efforts, namely our:
- Warehouse Management System (WMS): Körber's K.Motion WMS is a configurable solution that manages your inventory from arrival to departure and adapts to any workflow. This robust WMS is key for cold chain when considering unique inventory expiration and overall challenges managing chilled or frozen food and beverage. Further, this software – designated a leading solution worldwide in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Solutions– enables sustainability by reducing waste and saving money through increased efficiency.
- Track and trace: K.Motion STEPLogic Trace is a serialization solution empowering your warehouse to comply with rules and government regulations across your supply chain and to reduce contamination and increase safety. For instance, 20% of all food coming from farms fails to reach consumers, especially in first-mile logistics, which track and trace software helps combat.
- Layer picker: Körber’s K.Handle layer picker drives down costs through its efficient picking process, automating up to 98% of the volume shipped through the warehouse. With the ability to work in cold environments, it reduces energy costs by making it easier to maintain cold temperatures without the “in and out” that happens when employees work refrigerated storage. This is because the technology allows worker redeployment to warmer areas.
Choose a partner experienced in various warehouse technology solutions
The movement toward sustainability is more than a trend – it’s increasingly becoming a must-have for supply chains wanting to thrive going forward. The McKinsey report we just mentioned shows sustainability is one of the three top trends to dominate the grocery retail industry alone.
Modern warehouse solutions, including software and automated equipment, help warehouses and DCs like yours create and maintain more sustainable supply chains, whether you’re in food and beverage, including the cold chain, or any other industry.
And when it comes to choosing a provider that can help you choose and implement the right technology to become more operationally efficient and satisfy growing demand toward sustainability, look to a partner with years of experience and plenty of technology solutions to meet your goals. Visit here.