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David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 0:03
Supply chains continue to shine in the midst of challenging times. New innovations introduced for warehouse picking. And a supply chain that makes the impossible possible. Pull up a chair and join us as the editors of DC Velocity discuss these stories, as well as news and supply chain trends, on this week's Logistics Matters podcast. Hi, I'm Dave Maloney. I'm the editorial director at DC Velocity. Welcome. Logistics Matters is sponsored by Fortna. Fortna partners with the world's leading brands to transform their digital operations to keep pace with digital disruption and growth objectives. Known worldwide as the distribution experts, Fortna designs and delivers intelligent solutions powered by their proprietary software to optimize fast, accurate, and cost-effective order fulfillment. For more information, visit Fortna.com. As usual, Senior News Editor Ben Ames and Senior Editor Victoria Kickham join us to provide their insight into the top stories of this week. Hi, Ben and Victoria. Welcome. Since we're now at the beginning of May, I think it would be good to highlight some of the stories we have coming up in our May issue. Our cover story actually features an interview that I did with Sheetal Shah of Impossible Foods. Now Sheetal is the senior vice president of product and operations, and he directs several mission-critical business units, including the product itself, operations, manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics. So, Impossible Foods, if you're not familiar with, and they make that plant-based food that tastes like and competes with meat. So as a company, they state that their goal is to compete against beef that's made from cows and other animals in the areas of taste, nutrition, sustainability, convenience, and affordability. So the product I think most people are familiar with would be the Impossible Whopper that's found at Burger King restaurants. But they also are found in many other restaurants around the country, supermarkets, and they're rolling out even a greater expansion of that in supermarkets. So what we talked about in the interview was really the supply chain that makes this all happen. They rolled out Impossible beef a couple of years ago. They ended up with some supply chain problems, just not enough capacity for the demand, basically, So they fixed at this time in rolling out a new product called Impossible Pork, which you may see it a supermarket or a restaurant near you. So, the story gets into that, the supply chain behind it, and the partnerships that they're doing with 3PLs and restaurants and and food distributors to make sure their product can get to people. So, encourage you to read that. That's our cover story for May. Ben, you also had some work on the salary survey. Our 17th Annual Salary Survey of people in the supply chain. What did you find out with that?
Ben Ames, Senior News Editor, DC Velocity: 2:52
Right, Dave. We actually take a quick detour, I've actually eaten one of those Impossible Whoppers. I visited a Burger King with a friend a few weeks ago, and we had an Impossible Whopper and standard Whopper side by side, and we split them, and the Impossible one was tasty, I'm here to say.
David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 3:07
Yeah, they are pretty good.
Ben Ames, Senior News Editor, DC Velocity: 3:08
Yeah, absolutely. Looking at salaries, though, it turned out that more than two-thirds of the respondents in our 17th annual survey, as you said, have seen their salaries increase in the last 12 months. And the average salary that we added up in our survey was a little bit over $127,000, which was up from the 2019 level $117,000. So things are going well, in a salary sense. Of course, those are 2019 numbers. And as we're all painfully aware, 2020 has been a year for the record books in terms of disruption with coronavirus. So, time will only tell what the impact is on paychecks. However, many logistics providers have been deemed essential businesses, so a lot of them have kept on working through these very tough conditions. It'll be really interesting to see how that plays out.
David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 4:01
Yeah, it will be. Hopefully things are steady throughout the year, and we bounce back here fairly quickly. Victoria, you had a feature in our May issue on new picking technologies that you observed at Modex. Can you tell us about that?
Victoria Kickham, Senior Editor, DC Velocity: 4:14
Yes, absolutely. So the Modex show, there was, as you know, an abundance of new technologies. Impossible to write about everything in a single story. So what we just had to do was just take a look and highlight a few from companies that may be outside the mainstream radar and just a look at what's out there. So a couple of things we look at is in advance in goods-to-person picking that involves, or integrates, autonomous mobile robots and sort of a modular racking system that was really interesting. A robotic piece-picking solution that incorporates new vision technology and gripping technology, and a pick-by-vision system that's been around for a bit, but is incorporating some new dashboard tools that allow users access to data and analytics to both improve the way they use the system and their overall operations. So everyone's interested in data, data, data these days, so that seems really interesting to us. So that's just a few things that we took a look at
David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 5:09
And as we continue to see how automation is changing the robotics and all the software, of course, behind it, that really drives everything together. Great. Thank you, Victoria. We have a couple of other things we'll just highlight very quickly. We have a private fleet story that's coming up. And again, especially now with the with the coronavirus, people are wanting to secure that transportation, so they're taking even a harder look at private fleets and are copying, sort of taking a page out of Walmart and Amazon's playbook, looking into private fleets and contracting for dedicated operations. If they don't own the fleet, they're at least looking for dedicated service of from a fleet vendor. So take a look at that one in our May transportation report. We also are helping to celebrate the National Forklift Safety Day, which will be coming up in June. So we're highlighting that in our May issue. The event will be June 9th. It will be a virtual event that we'll actually be participating in this year. And so, within that special section, where actually, it's a supplement to DC Velocity in the May issue, we'll have a feature on how to create a safety culture within your facilities. It's among the forklift users who drive the forklifts as well as a pedestrians in your warehouse. So, some very practical steps that you could take to help develop that safety culture. We also have a couple of other articles within that supplement that I think would be worthy of you to take a look at to, that helped promote safety and the message from the Industrial Truck Association that safety is important not just on National Forklift Safety Day, but every day as well. We also have an article on women supply chain professionals who are increasingly making their way up to the highest levels of corporate management. This is a story that ran in our sister publication, Supply Chain Quarterly, and we think it's an important story, so we're also sharing it with our DC Velocity readers as well. So we're looking at how more doors are opening for women in supply chain, a field that has traditionally been a field that's been filled mostly by men. So, great to see that doors are opening for women executives as well. So that story is in, again, our May issue of DC Velocity. Turning to some of the other news and things that are going on, Victoria, you have also looked recently at a survey about consumers are no longer worried about delivery times so much as they were before. Could you tell us a little bit about that survey?
Victoria Kickham, Senior Editor, DC Velocity: 7:33
Yeah, sure, it is interesting. It's from logistics technology firm Convey. They do a lot of research on e-commerce trends. And just last month, or sort of mid- to late April, they surveyed 1,000 consumers and found that most are OK, the majority are OK with the longer delivery times they're experiencing during the Covid-9 pandemic. But the thing they really want is transparency. Seventy percent said they expect transparency and clear communication from retailers--if there's going to be a delay, or how much longer it's going to take to get their products. So that was the, the main point there. So I found that interesting. They also kind of looked at a bunch of other trends that are that are occurring during the current time with Covid-19. And what I found interesting was they did some research on stockpiling, and about, more than 40%--42%--of consumers admitted to stockpiling goods during this time. Mostly food items, paper products, pantry items, those kinds of things. But they also broke it up by age, and I found it interesting that those most likely to hoard are younger people, 18 to 29, admitted to hoarding those items during the, during this crisis. So if you've been to a grocery store and not seen paper towels for a while, you know who's got 'em.
David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 8:47
That is very interesting. I would not have thought that, so good. Interesting statistic there. Thank you. We also want to remind you that every day on DCVelocity.com, we have updates on what's going on with Covid-19 in our coverage, and then we have a lot of good resources there for them. And yesterday, you wrote a story about the how fleets and warehouses are starting to open up, and what it's going to take for those to operate safely. Can you share a little bit about that?
Ben Ames, Senior News Editor, DC Velocity: 9:17
Yeah, sure thing. It was really fascinating to watch this unfold, because everybody is really figuring it out in real time. It's looking increasingly like, without an effective coronavirus vaccine to make us all immune, businesses are going to have to get back into work again at under some sort of conditions, to keep the economy going and to keep our supply chains flowing. And so, there various analysts and technology firms have been offering possible terms for that, what they're calling "the next normal." And it depends, really, on what your place is in the supply chain, but some of the possibilities on the transportation side, vehicles and trucks, could be rising importance of telematics, vehicle routing software, Internet of things sensors, to be able to check where inventory is flowing without being there in person to touch it as we try to do more and more things virtually. And likewise, for warehouse workers, there are a couple options now for making sure that we maintain social distancing, the rules that we've all heard so much about. For instance, there's one company called Triax that has a little device that you can wear on a lanyard on your on your body, or clip it to your hard hat, and then it sounds an alarm if you draw too close to another worker, if it detects that proximity there. So, it's looking like we'll have some options that'll perhaps keep us working safely, moving forward in these coming weeks. Months.
David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 10:52
Yeah, and that's especially important, I think, in warehouses we've got a lot of people interacting with one another, to be able to maintain that social distance, but also get the product out. So you may see, I think maybe more shifts, in a sense, or work being divided among the facilities a little differently so that people are moving around and not being bunched together. So it will be interesting to see. And how warehouse management systems are able to place people, direct work. I think you're going to see a whole cottage industry and a sense of people making updates to be able to assure for some of that, the way products are picked. Very interesting idea, and thank you for bringing us that story. And then we have all kinds of other resources on there. I'm going to talk a moment about our resources page.
Ben Ames, Senior News Editor, DC Velocity: 11:38
We sure do. We've collected all of our coverage on a single Covid-19 landing page. So visitors on our website, DCVelocity.com, with one click, they can find all the coverage. And then, if they want to dig a little bit deeper, we also have a resource hub that now has 76 different links on it, to different industry groups within logistics, different analysts and research firms, vendors, charities, sort of the full array. But our goal with that was to let readers really drill down into the impact of coronavirus on logistics operations specifically, as supposed to sort of the broader public health end of it.
David Maloney, Editorial Director, DC Velocity: 12:20
Great. And there is a tab at the very top of DCCVelocity.com that says Covid-19. You could go and look at that Covid-19 coverage, as well as, if you want to direct link to the resources that Ben just mentioned, it's DCVelocity.com/covid19resources. So go take a look at those, all 76--and we're adding to those every day. Thanks, Ben and Victoria, for sharing the highlights of the news this week and, again, previewing the May issue of DC Velocity, soon to hit your desk. And of course, we'll be posting things online over the next week as well, with those stories. If you'd like more information on any of the stories that we did discuss today on Logistics Matters, be sure to check out DCVelocity.com for more details. And please provide any comments or feedback that you'd like to give us on our new podcast by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And a reminder that Logistics Matters is sponsored by Fortna. Fortna partners with the world's largest brands to transform distribution operations into competitive advantage. Expertise includes distribution strategy, DC operations, micro-fulfillment, automation, and intelligence software. Distribution solutions designed today for tomorrow's challenges. Learn more about the distribution experts at Fortna.com. We'll be back again next week with another edition of Logistics Matters. Until then, please stay safe, and we'll see you next week.