During normal peak hours the management of a distribution centre is always a juggling act. But imagine if a black swan event drastically changed the conditions, the number of arrivals and timings.
Imagine the scenario. The first heavy snow in mid-November has turned the highway into an icy, slippery and dangerous affair. Luckily the closure of one of the busiest routes throughout Germany has now been lifted, but the 32 trucks that were caught in the overnight holdup are simultaneously approaching the sorting centre. With the additional problem of five unloading bays malfunctioning due to freezing conditions, the scene is set for a complete disaster. What is more, a major e-commerce client is about to sign a lucrative contract. Negative press during the holiday season is precisely not what the company’s executives want right now. The nightmare would be to have to explain why a lot of money was spent in modernisation while overlooking the weakest link – the neglected yard. Surrounding the sorting complex, this crucial area turns out to be the bottleneck for the whole supply chain of parcel management. The impending headline: ‘Failure was so preventable’. But the company did not have to lament in hindsight. It was prepared and took the right measures.
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