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19.02.2021

The supply chain complexities that drove us to “reimagine” Elevate

Change is inevitable. The changes the supply chain faced in 2020, however, were extraordinary.

Think about how much has changed since we were at Elevate in Orlando last March. Just weeks after the closing session, visions of a blue-sky supply chain with endless possibilities became questions about how resilient supply chains could be. And because the pandemic challenged how agile supply chains handle disruption, we too had to reimagine how Körber deals with disruption.

Fast forward to today, and it’s time for Elevate once again – but we’re taking Körber Elevate online and making it a series of global events. First up is Körber Elevate Americas, which will be held virtually March 8-12, and will feature interactive clinics and roundtable discussions about reimaging the supply chain. As you explore this year’s agenda, you’ll find many of our sessions are grounded in three key themes: (1) building on the resiliency supply chains have developed in the last year; (2) improving efficiency, and ultimately better customer service; and (3) modernizing the supply chain – because things will likely look different even just six months from now.

Here are a few thoughts on why we’re “reimagining” Elevate using these themes:

Resiliency proven during historic upheaval

A recent McKinsey report provided this thought - “Rarely have supply chain leaders faced more complex, changing conditions than they have during the COVID-19 pandemic” - and I couldn’t agree more.

Still, I’m proud to say that, together with our customers, we’ve been able to keep the supply chain moving through great pandemic-induced upheaval.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to lifestyle changes that severely impacted demand, either demolishing it or catapulting it upward. Early on, the coronavirus crisis strained the global supply chain as consumers hoarded hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes and toilet paper. At one point, the price of oil went negative, as otherwise busy interstates sat empty. As we changed our ways of life, the supply chain experienced a severe shock.

But here’s the thing: after a few hiccups in the beginning, most supply chains – those with the right technology – recovered and adjusted to these changing demands. At this year’s Elevate, several of our sessions will explore the lessons learned during the pandemic, the unique ways these supply chains adapted, and what’s next in our efforts to remain resilient.

Efficiency a must to meet customer demand

Retailers’ supply chain challenges rose as seismic shifts in customer behavior and increased health restrictions affected their entire operations. Because customers wanted to order from home and have items delivered to their doorstep in 24 hours – or fewer - supply chain efficiency became a must. Excel spreadsheets and paper-based systems just couldn’t cut it.

Yet, as our State of Supply Chain Complexity survey discovered early in the pandemic, nearly one in four supply chain professionals still rely entirely on manual methods somewhere in the warehouse. Further, fewer than 10% of respondents said they could stay ahead of their greatest complexities.

It’s clearer than ever supply chain automation is necessary for resilience, giving us the efficiency we need to keep with changing demand. Tools such as robotics, voice and vision picking, and automated storage retrieval are critical to cutting through complexity. Voice, for instance, enables warehouse workers to carry out tasks hands-free, improving accuracy and efficiency and reducing errors. In addition, advanced robotics and automated solutions – e.g. layer pickers and stacker cranes – help employees store and pick items quickly. And by achieving supply chain efficiency, it’s easier for our businesses to achieve goals such as improving sustainability.

Elevate 2021 will feature demonstrations of the latest in supply chain automation. And because we’re virtual, we’ll even give you the chance to go “inside” some of our customers’ warehouses to get a look at this tech in action.

Modernization crucial in a changing landscape

Without a doubt, modernization is critical to conquering supply chain complexity. Several sessions will look at the platforms enabling better data sharing between supply chain solutions – and getting your warehouse ready for whatever challenges lay ahead. In particular, we’ll share more around Körber One, the industry’s most advanced cloud-first platform.

Think of Körber One as the foundation not only for unmatched depth of technologies, but also the data shared between these solutions, and the add-ons that extend those solution’s capabilities. Körber One gives you the adaptability you need to conquer complexities that may not even be on your radar until later this year.

We’re excited to share more about how Körber One is helping modernize your warehouse – but you’ll have to attend Elevate to hear it firsthand!

See you soon at Körber Elevate Americas

Whatever sessions you choose to attend, and which themes you’re looking forward to learning about, the entireKörber team is excited and ready to meet with you as part of more than 100 sessions. And anything you miss, you can watch on your schedule. All sessions will be made available for attendees on demand.

Glance through our agenda here. Better yet, register now so you’ll be set to take part in the most information-packed supply chain event of the year, Körber Elevate 2021. We’ll see you there!

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