On December 27, 2019, Modern Materials Handling posted a Wildeck article on their website’s “Other Voices” column, a series featuring ideas, opinions and insights from material handling industry thought leaders. The article, entitled The New Space Race in Warehouses and Distribution Centers, was authored by Dave Milner, Wildeck’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In the article, Milner explored the relationship between consumer demand for faster order fulfillment times and the changing supply chain and logistics landscape.

 

Since the World Wide Web became publicly available, the way that consumers access goods has dramatically changed. From online shopping to the emergence of personal shopping services at the local supermarket, consumers are increasingly electing to not step foot in brick and mortar stores. Consequently, companies are having to restructure their go-to-market strategy, especially their warehousing and distribution methods.

 

According to CBRE Group, Inc., a full service commercial real estate firm providing solutions to property owners, investors and occupiers, “the demand for well-located, small light-industrial properties – less than 120,000 sq. ft. – continues to outpace that for larger warehouses.” While it would initially appear that companies are electing to scale down their operations with smaller facilities, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that more companies are electing to operate out of multiple, smaller facilities that are strategically located near population centers (in both urban and suburban areas).

 

Given the increasingly competitive real estate market for small light-industrial properties, many companies are turning to new solutions and ideas to achieve faster to-market times. For instance, micro-fulfillment centers (small distribution centers that can be located in their own facility or in the stockrooms, basements and garages of existing buildings) are beginning to appear all over the country. These small, agile facilities are able to closely monitor and respond to changing inventory trends, decreasing overhead and increasing profitability.

 

Even though the supply chain and logistics industry is going through a period of great transformation, Milner maintains that the need for traditional material handling solutions is stronger than ever. As companies elect to operate out of multiple, smaller facilities, the demand for solutions and equipment that can make the most efficient use of limited square footage will continue to remain strong. Mezzanines, vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) and rolling ladders are just a few pieces of equipment that will allow companies to operate out of their small (but mighty) facilities.

 

If you would like any additional information about the products and ideas explored in Wildeck’s thought-provoking article, please feel free to contact us at (800) 325-6939 or info@wildeck.com. Our team of industry experts are ready to help your warehouse space reach its full potential.