Automation, sustainability and tracking key in logistics

When logistics firm K.Hartwall asked customers about their biggest challenges, warehouse automation, asset tracking and sustainability were among the top trends they identified.

In our recent customer survey, 54% of the respondents cited warehouse automation as the biggest trend to have an impact on their business in the near future, which was 10% more than last year. Asset Tracking came second, which is not a big surprise given the increase in volumes shipped lately.  Knowing how efficient your fleet is and identifying areas to improve, requires accurate, timely and transparent data which is key for the success of your logistics supply chain. The third rising challenge this year is sustainability. Over one-third of our respondents have named sustainability among the top 3 trends to impact their business compared to 26% a year ago.

In the areas where K.Hartwall can support you, Lean logistics was the most frequently mentioned. This did not only come from our automotive customers, but also from respondents in the Retail, DIY and industrial manufacturing industries. Streamlining logistics processes has become a high priority on everybody’s agenda as end customers expect more frequent deliveries and 100% availability in the stores at a time when ensuring deliveries is more difficult than ever. Another area where you believe K.Hartwall can bring its support is automation through AMRs. We are convinced that automation is the future of logistics and have heavily invested to develop solutions which can be easily implemented into your processes such as the A-MATE. Automation helps improve efficiencies and reliability when demand and shortage of labour continue to restrict growth and reliability.

Finally, we asked you to rank you the biggest trends impacting the future growth of your business. 20% of the responses were related to sustainability issues and how to ensure timely deliveries with the lowest impact on the environment. 15% of the answers where related to reducing cost and increasing efficiency in order to stay competitive — in other words, how to do more with less. Labour shortages and how to retain skilled labour was another 15% of your answers. Other topics mentioned were investment in financially beneficial automation as well as reliability of data collection and smart use of the data collected.
When it comes to how you perceive K.Hartwall as a partner,  the foremost response was that we help you solve your logistics challenges. We want to help you reduce manual handling to reduce your costs. We want you to increase your truck cubic fill to help you reduce your carbon footprint and ensure deliveries to your stores and customers. We want you to have ergonomic and easy to use equipment to ensure the health and safety of your employees and minimize work accidents.

The second was that we deliver products that last. At K.Hartwall we focus a lot of time and money to design and deliver quality and well-engineered products. Let’s not forget that high quality products are also more sustainable. They last longer, can be repaired, and don’t need to be disposed of after a couple of years. Not all logistics equipment is of the same quality. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is what needs to be understood when choosing a new piece of equipment, not the unit price as a more expensive item which lasts longer will be cheaper and more reliable in the long run than low-priced equipment that breaks down after 1 or 2 years.

Third, but not least, you stated that K.Hartwall is easy and reliable to do business with. We would not have it any other way. To us, business is people to people, and building a long-term relationship is at the core of the way we work. We are there to support you and take your business to the next level by making your logistics processes flawless.

We want to thank all the people who took the time to answer our 2021 customer survey. We know all of you receive many of these requests and that it’s easy to delete the email or just ignore it.