Logistics is best shared. We were thrilled to welcome some of our network for our first London Logistics Networking on the 21st March at the Museum of the Home. Participants took part in lively discussions about key trends in the warehousing market including Hyper-Local Warehousing; Retail Challenges and Opportunities; Design and Architecture; and Warehousing Contracts. Our speakers deliver short and insightful 5 minute talks to open the discussions. You can read more about what happened and join us on the 24th May in London where we will host our networking event with focus on sustainability. Get a ticket now!
The day opened with a look into the world of Hyper-Local Warehousing and Michal Pasternak @ Parcelly shared how warehouses are becoming an integral part of the urban landscape and what this would mean for logistics operators. Many challenges are arising from this shift as consumers become more aware of the warehouse and logistics in general.
After opening the discussion attendees talked about how Covid has shifted the focus of operations and slowed down some of the efficiencies the industry was trying to implement. In addition, a few important questions were raised. Many logistics leaders wondered how the sector can navigate consumers’ behaviour and what would happen when they experience a closer encounter with an urban warehouse.
“We truly enjoyed this inaugural in-person networking event organised by The Logistics Point. We’ve had a chance to meet and speak to several extraordinary field experts, as well as participate in a fascinating discussion which left everyone with much to consider. We will certainly be back to join more The Logistics Point events later this year.”Michal Pasternak, Senior Sales Executive at Parcelly
For Michal the answer could be hidden in using stores as local fulfilment centres and helping consumers combine trips. Parcelly, for example, is developing a network where stores can operate as drop-off and pick-up locations. Other technologies can also be implemented but there would not be a one-size-fits-all scenario.
Retail Challenges & Opportunities
Picking up on the topic of what technologies can be implemented Russell Holmes @ Autostore opened up the second discussion. Russell presented a survey conducted by Autostore amongst leading retailers. According to the results many companies struggle with controlling costs such as energy but at the same time are unwilling to make the necessary changes. One of the reasons could be that often such projects seem overwhelming and money would need to be invested well before any results are visible.
Russell’s talk led to a discussion on the place of robotics in warehousing and fulfilment operations, and how machines can improve efficiencies. Participants discussed the areas where robotics will be most suitable but also covered the journey that companies would need to take. Often organisations see a solution which looks good to them but they fail to invest the time in proper research. Russell raised an important point on how much leadership knows what the purpose of implementing a robotic solution is.
The attendees also took some time to talk about how logistics organisations need to ask the right questions and gather as much information from clients on their operations. Without that they risk creating a perfectly looking solution that does not reach its desired purpose.
Design & Architecture
After a short break Simon Rispin @ SMR Architects delivered a talk about how architecture is responding to the rise of last mile logistics. Simon spoke about the current model of designing and building warehouses which leads to industrial units being away from consumers, which in turn creates a large number of vehicles going into cities.
“It was great to see such an engaged audience in the first The Logistics Point in person event, and delighted to have had the opportunity to speak at the event. There is so much we can do with urban and last mile logistics, it was great to put our view across, and to hear the view from the experts in the room. Architecture plays such a significant part in helping urbanise logistics. Hopefully the first of many, and look forward to seeing people at the next one.”Simon Rispin from SMR Architects
The creation of more mix-used spaces was a central topic for the discussions with many participants agreeing this would be the next logical step. But at the same time, some key challenges need to be solved. Such locations might conflict with city centre usage and as space is limited it would be hard to decide who takes what.
Attendees also looked at the need for better design and why city warehousing units need to look appealing. They also covered who these premises will be most suitable for. Some of the best use cases would be for dark kitchens, micro-mobility and micro-hubs; on-demand grocery services. Participants also looked at how urban warehouses and different commercial buildings can swap between usage at different times of the day.
The last talk came from Elizabeth Selby @ Bexley Beaumont on warehousing contracts and the need to involve the legal team at the very start of negotiations. Elizabeth looked at how contracts have changed over the course of the last few years and why urban warehousing would need a new framework.
Elizabeth gave some key advice on how to focus on change control, scheduling and clearly explaining what would happen if one of the parties is looking for a change. She also asked managers to think how they can incentify suppliers to perform well and what gainsharing mechanisms can be put on place
‘’It was fascinating to hear from the other speakers. But what made the event even better was the level of audience participation, with everyone being willing to chip in and share their experiences, challenges and market insights. It’s very difficult to get that level of interaction with an online event, so it’s great to see that The Logistics Point is organising more in-person events for later in 2023. Nick provided a lot of support to all the speakers, so we all knew what to expect on the day.’’Elizabeth Selby at Bexley Beaumont LImited
A few of the participants shared some of their legal stories and why they have found it useful to involve the legal team at the early stages. The topic of governance was also raised as often participants worried their companies did not invest enough time in self-governance.
We were honoured to host so many and so active logistics specialists. You can join us for our next London Logistics Networking on the 24th May at the Museum of the Home. The focus will be Sustainability and Green Logistics and we can already confirm Descartes Systems Group and Overhaul as some of our speakers. Get your ticket here!