What’s happening with supply chain purchasing plans?

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COVID-19 has upended supply chains globally. We asked our readers how the virus is impacting their plans for new warehouse and distribution center solutions.


Supply chain purchasing

Supply chain purchasing- Every year, Peerless Research Group, the research arm of Modern Materials Handling, Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review, asks readers about their purchase plans for the upcoming year and years as part of an annual Warehouse Automation Study. Last year, for instance, the 2019 Automation Solutions Study, found that over the next 24 months, 57% of companies planned to shop around for conveyor and sortation systems, while 55% wanted automated packaging solutions and 50% planned to invest in robotics for picking. Fifty-percent were interested in mobile collaborative robots, 47% in shuttle systems/mobile robotic storage, and 47% in robotics that are used for palletizing.

This year’s survey went into the field between April 4 – 17, 2020, a time when COVID-19 was really hitting home and one state after another announced lockdowns. We wondered how the virus might be impacting the plans of you, our readers. Here’s what you told us.

Figure 1. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, is your company changing it’s purchase plans for warehouse and DC solutions?

Source: 2020 MMH Usage & Implementation of Warehouse & DC Automation Solutions Study Field April 4 – 17

Caution, or maybe uncertainty, is the watchword when it comes to current plans. Twenty-one percent (21%) told us that yes, their plans have changed. Some 26% said no, it’s full steam ahead. Meanwhile, 47% – nearly half, said they are unsure at the present time.

Figure 2. Other comments regarding company’s plans to change it’s purchase of warehouse and DC solutions?

5-10X Increase in volumes…
All CAPEX not fundamental for current operations is on hold…
Always trying other options….
Holding tight for now, until further clarity on recovery timing (3 mentions)…
Purchasing has increased due to greater order volume (Food & Bev. distribution)…
Scaling back on planned upgrades/purchases…
We are on temporary shut-down.

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Article Credit: SCMR