The DCL Logistics team and I hope that all of your businesses weathered the craziness of this unprecedented year and are looking forward to the refresh of 2021. Most importantly, we hope that you, your families and your employees continue to stay safe and healthy through the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we enter a new year, I’d like to reflect on 2020 and give you a preview of what we’re looking forward to in 2021.
Agility is Not Just a Buzzword
COVID-19 created a domino effect in the supply chain by increasing demand, limiting overseas supply lines, impacting carrier capacity, not to mention dealing with the repercussions of essential worker fallout from the virus. 2020 truly raised the bar of the definition of “agile”. I believe that working alongside high growth brands for over 40 years, where innovation has always been paramount to their success, has rooted our entire organization to operate with an agile mindset. This year, with 75% order growth during our peak weeks (compared with 2019), we didn’t miss a beat, hitting all customer SLAs and maintaining perfect order accuracy.
Leaning in on Customer Intimacy
In 2021, hundreds of millions of dollars were invested into fulfillment companies with the goal of improving automation, driving down costs, and building out more facilities. While we’re excited about the innovation happening in the supply chain, we haven’t lost sight of the fact that the human service element we provide to our customers is critical to their long term success. We continue to focus on adding new talent to our Client Services Team. They are the customer advocates at DCL and we want to ensure a high level of customer intimacy. I believe that in operations great people are needed to manage clients and problem solve the changing needs of our customers’ supply chains.
Warehouse Automation Taking Shape
We continue to aggressively look to discover more automated ways to work in our warehouse operations. Last year, we developed our own B2C picking robots and launched them into operation in both our Fremont and Louisville facilities, processing up to ten thousand orders daily and providing us with greater order throughput and pick accuracy. We also invested heavily to expand our B2C order line automation in all our facilities to provide us with improved order flow and direct cost mitigation. In 2021, we plan to automate the B2B orders’ verify process which will allow us to get our customers’ orders processed quicker without sacrificing quality. We are excited about the potential of this automation and look forward to sharing these project updates with you!
We understand that eFactory, our order and inventory management platform, is critical to your business and we want to make it the best tool possible. Based on customer feedback, we made several updates to eFactory this past year. We added more customization (bundles!), deeper analytics, and better down-stream metrics (real-time delivery status). We encourage ongoing feedback and comments about eFactory from our customers to continue to enhance its features. We look forward to rolling out a full pipeline of new features in 2021 to make it better than ever.
USA Northeast Expansion
Our Louisville facility has gained a lot of traction with our client base, with roughly 25% of our brands moving to a distributed inventory model. With consumer expectations shifting towards faster and affordable delivery, we are embarking on plans to expand the DCL footprint to the Northeast. While we can’t share details about our plans yet, our goal is to ship our first orders by Black Friday of 2021!
We always love hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, suggestions, or feedback. Wishing you, your businesses, and your families a great and healthy start to 2021 from everyone at DCL. I look forward to connecting with you soon!
President, DCL Logistics