The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing policy decisions involving lockdowns and mandates clarified some of the most pressing global supply chain infrastructure problems. As a result, shipping delays for crucial materials, commodities, and pharmaceuticals sent economic shockwaves through many industrialized countries. In addition, foreign geopolitical conflicts have highlighted some of the supply chain vulnerabilities many countries face today.
Given these concerns, it’s no surprise that many governments and private companies are considering ways to reimagine global supply chains to become more resilient in the face of black swan events. It’s a pressing problem for the citizens of nations worldwide since many rely on these supply chains to make essential goods like food and medications available in their communities.
Supply chain decision-makers explore strategies to address some of the industry’s current vulnerabilities. For example, one of the leading approaches to addressing future supply chain lapses is creating contingency plans that provide specific directions and procedures that instruct workers on how to respond in the case of a supply chain crisis.
Bulk Warehousing to Prepare for Interruptions
Most of these contingency plans require companies to have an ample supply of goods to avoid delays in consumer shipments. As a result, companies with global supply chains have an increased need for bulk warehousing infrastructure that helps them prepare for supply chain interruptions.
Companies in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries are exploring warehousing infrastructure that enables a large backlog of accumulated products.
Some large companies are even turning to third-party warehousing and supply chain firms that specialize in providing bulk warehousing solutions.
The benefits of bulk warehousing are clear. First, companies with larger supplies of goods can continue shipping them to consumers even if their supply of products or parts and materials is temporarily interrupted.
A Trend Towards Warehouse Inshoring
Another solution many companies explore to make their supply chains more resilient is to inshore their warehousing infrastructure so that their products do not travel too far to reach consumers. The trend toward inshoring represents a stark departure from the tendency in recent decades for firms to offshore their storage and warehousing of goods to cut costs.
Today, many firms realize that those cheaper offshore storage costs might not be worth taking on the increased liability of future supply chain interruptions, which decrease their sales and brand equity. As a result, some companies are localizing their supply chains to increase resiliency.
While logical, the inshoring of warehousing is not an easy task, as large companies attempt to close deals with warehouse and storage providers. Moreover, it is a task made even more difficult because many pharmaceutical and agricultural companies require specific product storage conditions.
Warehousing and Cold Chain Storage
Many pharmaceutical and agricultural products are temperature-sensitive. As a result, these products can degrade or expire if exposed to improper temperatures, leading to dangerous supply chain failures. Moreover, many regulators have specific companies’ requirements to create safe warehouse storage conditions and protect consumers.
That makes sense, considering improper storage can lead to foodborne illness outbreaks or patients not receiving effective medications. However, these regulations challenge for managers looking to inshore their warehousing and supply chains.
In addition to procuring adequate warehouse space, companies also outfit storage facilities with cooling equipment and temperature monitoring technologies. Temperature-controlled supply chains have long been important for companies shipping goods to consumers, known in the industry as cold chain storage. According to Dickson Data, establishing safe warehouse storage conditions is vital to abide by Good Warehousing Practices (GWP) and Good Distribution Practices (GDP).
To fully understand the warehouse and capacity needs that multinational firms face today, it’s essential to look at the technologies needed to ensure safe warehouse storage conditions.
The Importance of Data Loggers in Warehousing and Cold Chain Storage
Data loggers are small electronic devices that collect environmental data such as temperature, humidity, and differential pressure from their surroundings. As you can imagine, data loggers play an important role in cold chain storage since they can ensure adequate temperatures of storage facilities.
After being recorded by the data logger, it typically stores environmental data on the device’s internal memory and then securely transfers it to an external computer system for analysis, formatting, and, in many cases, submission to regulators. This data helps regulators ensure proper storing of life-supporting products not to endanger consumers.
Considering the ongoing supply chain concerns, companies must ensure that all warehouses and storage facilities have sufficient environmental monitoring tech. That’s especially true for firms storing temperature-sensitive products.
In closing, it’s clear that recent supply chain concerns have highlighted the need for companies to reimagine supply chain procedures and establish safe warehouse storage conditions. Bulk warehousing, inshoring, and temperature monitoring technologies are all part of the solutions companies today are exploring.