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Vanderlande helps retailers
evaluate their omni-channel
distribution options
In overviewing the capabilities required to support the explosive—and certain to continue—growth of e-commerce to 2025 (and beyond), the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics discusses the need for retailers to develop omni-channel distribution facilities on pages 34 and 35. The term refers to consolidating into one the separate distribution centers (DCs) traditionally used to meet the needs of three different sales channels: retail stores, resellers, and individual customers.

Achieving omni-channel distribution is a challenge that global automated warehousing and logistics solution provider Vanderlande Industries has been helping customers address for a while, said Andy Williams, the company’s U.S. Senior Business Development Manager.

“Omni-channel distribution is something that retailers have been talking about for a while,” he explained. “Now, in every facility design we do, customers are asking us to examine the opportunities for, and evaluate the impacts of, serving more than one channel in the same DC. We’re seeing the early stages of its implementation in terms of system design and validation of those designs.”

  Andy Williams, U.S. Senior Businesss Development Manager at Vanderlande Industries.
  Andy Williams, U.S. Senior Businesss Development Manager at Vanderlande Industries.

Join the Roadmap on LinkedIn: Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.


October 5-8, 2014: 2014 MHI Executive Summit
& Annual Conference
  Executive Event
The 2014 MHI Executive Summit & Annual Conference opens on Sunday, October 5 with a presentation about the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics, and its relationship to the event's theme: "The Power of Innovation: Breaking Limitations for Long Period Growth in Today's Supply Chain." Additionally, attendees can attend three different educational tracks that focus specifically on themes identified in the Roadmap: Changing Workforce, Managing Complexity and Embracing Innovation.

Welcome to the Future

June 12, 2025

Gaithersburg, MD. John Alvarez has been under his classic 1996 silver Corvette for three and a half hours. He’s sweating profusely, but doing what he loves—restoring old cars. His search for the source of a small oil leak is finally over—a leaking right valve cover gasket. “MyEye, stock check.”

“Yes, sir?” responds a small SmartPin clipped to his shirt. “Is there a right valve cover gasket for my Corvette in this town?”

“Checking, sir, please wait…” After confirming the meaning of “valve cover gasket” and “my Corvette” with appropriate databases, SmartPin sends a stock request via wireless connection to a central database for automotive supplies: “Stock check, right valve cover gasket for a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, 5.7 liter V8, 4-speed, convertible. Near address: 2049 Mockingbird Lane, Gaithersburg, MD.”

“I have found a source, sir. Please check MyEye to confirm.” Still under the car, John shifts his focus to the eyes up display in his right contact lens as it projects photographs and technical details for the part.

“Next page…. Next page. Yes, that’s it. Please order for immediate delivery.”

“On the way, sir.” The order is immediately placed and paid for. Inside the local auto parts store, a 3D printer begins the job. Ten minutes later, it’s done.

The store’s CrowdDeliver system broadcasts a request for delivery to thousands of participating mobile devices. A notification pops up in the car of Jeff Hart, who lives in John’s neighborhood but has never met him. Jeff is on his way back from his daughter’s gymnastics meet, and only two blocks from the auto parts store. He clicks “Got it” and takes a left toward the store.

A clerk greets him at the service window, “Here you go, Mr. Hart. Do you see the address?” “Yep, it came up right there. I’ve been wanting to meet John for some time.”
“Thank you sir, we’ve credited your account.”

Ten minutes later, Jeff pulls into the driveway of John Alvarez, who is still under his Corvette.

“John, I’m Jeff Hart from down the street. Here’s your gasket. Nice car.”

Sound far fetched?

It’s not.

This is the future, as envisioned by the contributors and authors of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The Roadmap offers a visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.

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