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How to Leverage Supply Chain Execution Solutions to Address Volatility

As supply chain disruptions related to geopolitical conflicts, inflationary pressures, and other issues continue to impact daily operations, it’s clear we need strategies in place to combat the ever-lingering uncertainty of tomorrow. That’s why we sat down with a team of industry experts to discuss how today’s supply chain leaders can navigate ongoing volatility and uncertainty. The discussion landed on four main topics; labor, automation, planning, and supply chain integration.

Read on for highlights or access the entire discussion here.


Labor generally accounts for 60–65% of the total operating cost of warehouse and fulfillment operations. While hourly labor rates have increased from 10% to 15% in the past five years, overall DC productivity has remained flat—so the cost per unit worked has increased. As a result, we must continue to invest in our human resources but also augment people with the right technology. Augmenting labor with technology will help you create less dependency on human resources. This could be in the area of selection, packing, storage, sortation, and so forth.


No discussion of warehouse technology can avoid the mention of automation. Research indicates that the use of automation in warehouses is growing. In the past 10 years, we’ve seen more intelligent robots, like Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) working together to move goods around the warehouse. 

As the automation market continues to grow, so does the need for an additional layer of technology, one that coordinates all the different types of automation components that live and operate in a warehouse, known as a multi-agent orchestration platform. Experts agree this includes all types of automation, including bots and assets like elevators or conveying systems in the warehouse. It’s all about having a single platform that manages and optimizes all the components.


It’s no secret that planning is essential in any industry, and yet we cannot emphasize this enough. Both short and long-term planning can help with improving labor efficiencies, achieving sustainability goals, and fostering customer satisfaction. In the supply chain space, experts agreed that better connectivity between planning and execution can be achieved with dependable integration between your TMS and WMS. But this is only really possible with clean and reliable data that is shared between both systems.


To succeed today, we need fully integrated supply chains with visibility into customers, vendors, and partners. We need to move past solutions that were built for linear supply chains that result in confusing segmentation. Instead, we need connected systems that let customers know if their orders have been picked, shipped, when they will be delivered, and more. Experts were quick to add that visibility is only half the equation, workflows need to be implemented to make that visibility actionable.


We live in a far more integrated world these days, which is mostly good, but it also means that when disruptions occur, the impact is wide. Supply chain resiliency is what’s needed to combat these pitfalls. Resiliency is characterized by the ability to:

  • See what’s happening, which is visibility
  • Quickly analyze those events or data, which is intelligence
  • Properly respond, which is the agility afforded by having proper systems or technology in place

For more details on the strategies these experts recommend to combat volatility, listen to our discussion and download our white paper, Leveraging Supply Chain Execution Solutions to Navigate Ongoing Uncertainty.