The largest ever drug interception operation coordinated by ACT Policing has seen approximately 384 kilograms of cocaine seized and two men charged with drug importation offences. Earlier this year, ACT Policing received information relating to a possible drug importation syndicate operating in southern New South Wales and the ACT. Read more
New Zealand-based apparel label AS Colour is to support the company’s significant business growth with an advanced materials handling installation in its new Auckland distribution centre. Founded in 2005 in Auckland and operating in NZ, Australia and California, AS Colour produces apparel products for the wholesale and retail markets, with a number of retail outlets located in NZ and Australia. “Following recent continued growth, AS Colour has outgrown its existing DC and made the decision to move to a new facility,” explained managing director and founder of AS Colour Lawrence Railton. “As part of our evolution into a new DC, AS Colour also wanted to optimise our warehouse operations by boosting productivity and efficiency when handling the high number of SKU we deal with.” Working with Scott Kerr at Kerrect Logistics, AS Colour evaluated a range of automation options before choosing a tailored Dematic Multishuttle Goods-to-Person (GTP) System for its new DC, which provides high-density tote storage and high sequenced order picking productivity. “AS Colour wanted to find a way to pick orders faster with minimal touches, in order to minimise product packaging and presentation challenges caused by handling the same product multiple times,” said business development manager at Dematic Seth van Dijk “The system we have tailored for AS Colour is based on the goods-to-person methodology, where the storage and delivery of products to fulfil orders is automated through the use of the Dematic Multishuttle high-rate storage and retrieval system.”
Using the Dematic Multishuttle Goods-To-Person (GTP), AS Colour products are stored in totes in a secure high-density environment until they are retrieved and delivered in orderline sequence to operators at four ergonomic workstations. This significantly improves productivity by eliminating non-value-added time spent on tasks such as travel, and manually locating and retrieving stock. Managed by Dematic iQ Warehouse Control System software, the installation features a two-aisle Dematic Multishuttle GTP system, with double-deep storage for 19,425 totes across 18 levels and 36 bays. It also features automated order tote delivery to 4 x 1:1 workstations as well as order tote take away to a dedicated conveyor sorter and packing area. “In addition to the productivity, efficiency and high-density benefits the Dematic installation will bring to our new facility, we will also gain much more visibility into our warehouse operations,” added Mr Railton. “The new system will deliver real-time information, which places us in a better position to monitor and optimise our picking and replenishment productivity rates.” The new AS Colour DC is due for completion in the first half of 2021.
Coles has signed a strategic partnership with Microsoft to use cloud-based technology to transform shopping for customers, make life easier for workers and improve productivity across the business. This is the latest in a series of global partnerships and developments through which Coles is building its technology and digital capability. The long-term strategic partnership is founded on Microsoft Azure becoming Coles’ cloud platform, which will enable Coles to drive simplicity and efficiency in its operations by migrating its applications to Azure. Together with Microsoft, Coles is building an enterprise data platform in Azure that will power advanced analytics across Coles and enable the rapid deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive innovation in physical stores and through the supply chain. The use of Azure AI services will improve Coles’ ability to use a variety of customer data to drive decision making and better tailor its range to meet the needs of customers and how they like to shop. These decisions will be based on deeper data analysis from its proprietary research, Flybuys and customer transactions. In addition to more personalised customer service, a key part of Coles’ Smarter Selling strategy is in its stores, where workers will be provided with a range of new tools that will transform how they work, such as removing manual tasks for repetitive activities like stock management and price markdowns. These changes are designed to boost productivity and allow them to focus on the things that matter most to customers. Coles’ technology and digital capability Recent announcements from Coles have included: Oct 5, 2018: Two new ambient automated distribution centres to be built by German automation specialist Witron as part of the modernisation of Coles’ supply chain. Feb 12, 2019: Coles implementing SAP systems to transform store support functions in the areas of HR, indirect procurement and financial reporting. Mar 1, 2019: Coles partners with Optus to rollout a high-speed network, driving store efficiencies and innovation. Mar 26, 2019: Coles enters partnership with Ocado to bring its online grocery platform, automated fulfilment and home delivery to Australia.
It could be assumed that several decades after supply chain management practices such as ‘lean’, ‘build-to-order’ and ‘just-in-time’ became accepted across industry, inventory levels would have seen a steady and inexorable decline. However, the latest report by Transport Intelligence, Inventory Benchmarking Vertical Sector Trends, has found that the stock held by manufacturers and retailers, as measured by Days of Supply in Inventory (DSI), has actually risen over the past ten years. This data, based on the financial reports of 187 manufacturers and retailers located around the world reveals that, on average, companies in 2017 were holding ten more days’ stock than in 2008: increasing from 80 to 90 days. The research also found that the retail industry operates with the lowest average DSI: 33 days in 2017. At the other end of the spectrum, the pharmaceutical sector operates with an average of 186 days. One of the authors of the report Professor John Manners-Bell said this indicates that reducing inventory levels is just one of a number of competing goals for many companies. “Despite the textbooks telling us that inventory reduction should be the main goal for supply chain managers, the present market environment requires a far more sophisticated approach, balancing a range of important objectives,” Professor John Manners-Bell said. Examples of this new approach include Walmart, which now regards the availability of stock to purchase by consumers as a major factor in its existential battle with Amazon, despite the inevitable consequence of higher inventory. Lenovo and Hewlett Packard took a similar approach to building up inventory in order to maintain product availability in physical stores in contrast with Dell’s lean inventory strategy. Risk is also a factor, as companies seek to avoid the supply chain problems they faced after a number of high profile disruptive events in the early part of the decade, such as the Thai floods and Japanese tsunami. Co-author Andy Ralls added: “A focus on achieving an appropriate amount of inventory is and always will be hugely important to efficient supply chain management. However, as our research shows, competing priorities, be they driven by e-commerce, changing customer demands, product development, risk or even regulatory requirements, have caused many companies to fundamentally assess their supply chain strategies.”
A critical benchmark for inventory management, Inventory Benchmarking Vertical Sector Trends compares many of the world’s leading manufacturers and retailers against key financial supply chain metrics. In particular it:
Defines the key ratios available from financial disclosures.
Conducts a by-industry vertical sector analysis of inventory management and benchmarking data for the high tech, automotive, retail, pharmaceutical, fashion and consumer goods industries.
Examines the supply chain and inventory management strategies of selected blue chip companies with reference to these benchmarks.
Where available, examines the different types of inventory held by these companies and how these have changed.
Compares and contrasts the performance of these companies.
Sunshine Coast Airport has signed a partnership agreement with the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) with the aim of boosting food exports from the region to national and international markets. Read more