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Körber Supply Chain Blog


Global Leader Perspective on the Körber Rebrand: Australia and New Zealand

Nishan Wijemanne, MD APAC for Körber Supply Chain Software, talks about supply chain challenges for ANZ businesses and how Körber can help navigate them.

Körber is helping businesses in the ANZ market transform their supply chain operations to keep up with the growth of e-commerce and improve fulfilment speeds.

The global supply chain is changing and with it a new set of challenges is emerging. Keeping up with the consumer demands is the driving principle for supply chain transformation worldwide. While many supply chain challenges are universal, each region also faces its own set of obstacles and opportunities.

The newly integrated Körber brand is prepared to help organisations in Australia and New Zealand streamline and fortify their supply chains. Körber’s solutions enable businesses to improve fulfilment speeds in the face of record e-commerce growth in the region.

What Challenges Are ANZ Supply Chains Facing?

Consumers in Australia and New Zealand have historically been slow in the uptake of e-commerce. Pre COVID-19, Australia’s e-commerce spend was around 11 per cent of total retail expenditure, compared to around 18 per cent for European and North American markets.

However, COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to online shopping, and ANZ consumers are more engaged in the world of e-commerce than ever before. With this shift to online shopping comes new expectations around delivery and convenience.

In Australia and New Zealand, same-day and next day delivery is complicated by more than just the typical issues of picking and packing speeds — supply chain managers also have to grapple with the physical distance and lack of infrastructure between states, which can significantly slow the speed of deliveries. This is particularly true for companies that use “satellite” fulfilment centres far from the city to save on real estate costs.

Because of the many challenges that accompany e-commerce fulfilment in Australia and New Zealand, businesses are looking for ways to increase fulfilment speed from within the warehouse. In particular, many are exploring and expanding their use of flexible and mobile automation and robotics to accelerate picking and packing processes and reduce bottlenecks.

The ANZ market may not be suffering from the same labour shortages as the European and North American markets, but the costs of labour in Australia and New Zealand are some of the highest in the world. Additional labour issues have also emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — for instance, requirements for social distancing translate into fewer employees being able to work together in the warehouse. As a result, flexible automation has also been growing in popularity because of its potential to solve these challenges as well as increase safety and efficiency. Many companies in the region are also starting to explore options around transforming retail spaces in urban and suburban areas into micro-fulfilment centres. This presents even more opportunity and interest in using autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to maximise space, meet rising consumer demands and increase productivity.

How Businesses Can Navigate Supply Chain Challenges

Warehouse technology like AMRs and supply chain robotics can help businesses in the ANZ region tackle their supply chain challenges. With its rebrand, Körber has grown its portfolio and those of its sister companies exponentially. Thanks to its wide breadth of offerings, Körber provides a unique approach to collaborative technology: AMRs, robotics, and voice picking technology can all work together to boost efficiency and improve the overall consumer experience.

By implementing Körber’s flexible automation solutions, ANZ businesses can lower their costs while improving their e-commerce fulfilment capabilities — a critical asset, given that reliance on e-commerce will likely remain even after the pandemic wanes. Further, Körber has enabled AMR implementation in areas such as in food distribution and cold storage.

One of the major challenges that ANZ companies face when considering AMR implementation is concern over adding yet another vendor and system to their already complex supply chain. With Körber’s consolidation of 12 sister companies into a single brand, not only are AMR and Warehouse Management System (WMS) integration simplified, they also become part of a global conversation that can increase the rate of technology development on a global scale.

Once a deployment has been completed in one region of the world, ANZ organisations can work with Körber to determine if it would be a good fit in their regional distribution facilities. If the answer is yes, then those successful tech deployments can quickly be brought to the ANZ market. These global conversations are also enabling Körber to bring new ways of approaching supply chain technology to regions that may never have considered these solutions.

With access to a huge portfolio of supply chain software and automation, ANZ companies can keep up with the latest updates, best practices, and innovations better than ever before. Through its rebrand, Körber is elevating and strengthening supply chains in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond.

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