Solving Distribution Challenges During Unprecedented Demand

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Peak-proofing the supply chain has always been a concern for distribution centers (DCs), but crisis-proofing the supply chain elevates the need for scalable resources to new heights.

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, DCs saw e-commerce orders unexpectedly hit peak levels or even rise above them, putting today’s supply chains under more pressure than ever before. With many retailers temporarily shutting stores and stay-at-home orders in effect across the country, shopper behavior quickly shifted to digital commerce.

Distribution centers remained open to fulfill orders, but they were not immune to new health and safety requirements. Maintaining social distancing and losing workers to illness impacted labor levels in warehouses, which were, for many retailers, already insufficient to handle pre-COVID volume.

With uncertainty looming in the retail industry, how can retailers ensure their fulfillment operations can meet sudden spikes in demand in addition to expected holiday rushes?