Innovations in CPG Distribution and Warehousing
Keeping up with the latest trends is difficult to do. The digital age means we live in constant change. And no greater catalyst pushed us forward and forced us to pivot quite like the Covid pandemic. Then we were hit with extreme supply chain breakdowns due to international trade and other delays. As with the rest of warehousing and distribution, consumer packaged goods (CPG) warehousing and distribution is also seeing some major changes.
New technology, innovative tools, and even suggestions to leverage some older techniques are what we’re seeing right now as a CPG-specialized third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Discover the latest innovations in CPG distribution and warehousing, and how they could be improving efficiency in your operations moving forward.
Dashboards for Inventory Tracking
Real-time inventory tracking is an innovation that keeps the CPG industry more nimble than ever. Replacing the tedious and repetitive manual process of data entry with scanning not only improves accuracy and speed. Removing the extremely manual process enables employees to focus on more important tasks, while allowing manufacturers to more easily see demand at any time of day.
When working with a CPG 3PL, make sure they offer an online dashboard that offers real-time, 24/7 inventory tracking and monitoring. When you need to assess your inventory, there’s no time to wait or start production based on outdated numbers.
At Prism Logistics, we understand the importance of real-time inventory tracking. That’s why we have an online customer portal that provides our clients with the ability to view product orders and delivery status remotely anytime, in real-time.
Drones are becoming common-place in warehousing because they’re able to take over manual processes and ensure employee safety. They can scan thousands of pallets with a nearly perfect accuracy rate in significantly less time than if done manually. All this can be done without use of ladders, forklifts, or other heavy machinery to get employees in the air.
While the media may focus on whether jobs are being replaced by machines, the reality on the warehouse floor is that using robotics and better tools in fact improves overall job satisfaction. Drones allow employees to focus on tasks other than the repetitive and mundane, improve accuracy and efficiency, and help mitigate any potential hazards that go along with getting people off the ground.
Continuing to leverage new vehicles or tools is the only way to stay on the cutting-edge of warehousing. There’s no better way than implementing autonomous vehicles. These vehicles that control themselves and are equipped with safety cameras and sensors help create a more efficient and safe environment.
Unlike a human operator, the autonomous vehicles won’t get distracted and accidently overlook obstacles in their path. They free the floor team members from mundane, repetitive tasks like restocking a shelf with pallets so they have the opportunity to focus their efforts on more pressing, and perhaps more rewarding projects.
Autonomous vehicles of various types are slowly being added to different smart warehouses, but we predict this is one of the next big shifts thanks to their many benefits.
Demand fluctuations and lack of reliable delivery have been a few frustrations of CPG companies over the last few years. Shipping delays have been headaches felt from every end of the supply chain. GPS tracking is one tool that can help reduce the number of delays or missed deliveries.
Peering into where a product is at any time is key to developing an open dialogue between the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer. If there’s a delay, the distributor can address it with the manufacturer so the retailer is kept updated.
GPS tracking also allows for the utmost efficiency by mapping the fastest and most direct route. This increases retailer satisfaction and can reduce the product’s overall carbon footprint, which many consumers are increasingly aware of.
In what seems like a step back to a simpler time, a cutting-edge investment in CPG warehousing and distribution can simply be choosing a warehouse close to the product’s final destination. According to a recent study, 76% of consumers believe it’s somewhat-to-very important for CPG brands to reduce their carbon footprint.
CPG brands can reduce their carbon footprint simply by utilizing 3PL providers closer to their final markets than others might be. For example, Prism Logistics serves Northern California from 7 different locations including Sacramento, Stockton and the Central Valley, and more. This means we can provide the products you offer to local retailers with minimized driving or waste of precious fuel.
All this to say that innovations are happening rapidly. In a space many think is mundane, we know it’s ever-evolving and growing more efficient. We are excited to see where the next phase of CPG warehousing and distribution goes, because we know it will be a big leap.
Want to continue reviewing the latest trends in warehousing? Read
THE FUTURE OF WAREHOUSING: PREDICTIONS AND TIPS FOR 2023
Find a 3PL Partner Keeping Up with the Latest Innovations
CPG manufacturers are discovering that the best way to stay nimble and reduce costs is partnering with a third-party logistics provider that understands their business and keeps technology at the forefront of their operations. Knowing where to look and who to partner with can be a challenge.
But we have a small suggestion: Find a partner that not only offers services you need but takes time to understand the nuances of your business along with implementing new technologies to help you outpace competitors. Find a partner whose goals align with yours, a partner who makes their operation merely an extension of your own. Find a partner whose focus is not solely their own bottom line, whose biggest goal is to help you succeed.
So if you’re ready to partner with a 3PL provider that keeps its finger on the pulse of the latest innovations to keep operations streamlined and updated, treats clients like family, and helps you achieve your CPG distribution and warehousing goals, contact us today.