Nobody could have predicted the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the global supply chains, caused primarily by lockdowns, labour shortage, freight issues and excessive customer demand fuelled by hysteria. While many could only see the doom and gloom of the situation, Americold APAC thought of Albert Einstein and his saying ‘In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’, and that is how we viewed the situation, as an opportunity to take a fresh look at the management of supply chains and more importantly, how Americold operates and how to future proof our organisation in Australia and New Zealand
With customers at the core of everything we do at Americold, our focus is on connecting manufacturers to retailers with temperature-controlled logistical solutions, and to keep Australians and New Zealanders fed through consistent flows of frozen and chilled food products onto supermarket shelves.
What are we doing to achieve this?
Firstly, we have supported our customers in moving from a just-in-time inventory model to a just-in-case model, where higher levels of stocks are held to reduce the risk of stock shortages due to future disruptions and crisis’s. Optimised packing of pallets has had a twofold effect at Americold, saving valuable storage space and reducing the number of required pallets, which has a positive flow on effect to the environment. Visibility via our i3PL inventory management system is also key, as it allows both Americold and our customers real-time insights into the movement of inventory and potential issues, therefore reducing the risk for our customers and ultimately to the supply chain.
Secondly, Americold realised the importance of employee retention with labour shortages. We have doubled down on investing in employee longevity through our global in-house training programs to provide our employees with career development opportunities within our organisation. This includes programs such as our renowned Americold Leadership Academy, in which employees are provided with a three-part course across a 12-month period that develops their leadership skills using real company case studies and internal collaboration and insights from the Senior Leaders of the organisation who kindly give their time to be involved in coaching the next leaders of Americold. At the end of 2022, we launched ‘The Igloo’, our online self-paced learning platform that allows employees to develop their skills in their areas of choice. Our ultimate goal is to retain the rich industry knowledge and experience that our employees have.
Finally, Americold is investing in solar power to counter the rising global energy costs. The average refrigerated warehouse uses approximately 25 kWh of energy per square foot for cooling costs annually. In fact, globally, cold storage organisations are the third-highest consumers of industrial energy. Through this investment, we are future proofing our organisation to remain competitive and to reduce the cost burden on our suppliers and ultimately to our local communities.
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