Gold for KNAPP at the IntraLogistics Awards
KNAPP UK has scooped yet another award for the solution it supplied to John Lewis. The company won the Gold Award in the Warehouse Automation category at the inaugural IntraLogistics Awards.
The winners were revealed at an awards ceremony held at the IntraLogisteX show in Coventry on 25 March. The team of judges, comprising senior engineering and facilities managers at leading retailers, manufacturers and third-party logistics providers, were looking for outstanding solutions that demonstrated strong innovation, return on investment, efficiency improvement, contribution to safety, environmental improvement, outstanding design and service excellence.
In awarding the Gold Award for Warehouse Automation to KNAPP, the judging panel praised the scale and complexity of the solution, which enabled the UK's largest department store retailer to adapt its supply chain to meet radical changes in demand. In particular, the judges were impressed by the modular nature of the solution and its future-proof design.
The automated handling system designed, installed and maintained by KNAPP at the retailer's National Distribution Centre at Magna Park in Milton Keynes is multi-award-winning, with both KNAPP and John Lewis having picked up numerous prizes for the solution.
Just the week before, John Lewis won the Operations (Large) Award at the SHD Logistics Awards. In the latter part of last year, the retailer scooped two prizes including ‘Retail & E-Tail' and ‘Warehouse Initiative' with KNAPP at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards, as well as two at the Hermes Retail Week Supply Chain Awards and one at the CILT Annual Awards for Excellence.
David James, Regional Director for KNAPP, who was presented with the latest accolade on behalf of KNAPP, said: "We are delighted to have won another award for our flagship solution at John Lewis. The fact that John Lewis has continued to invest in Magna Park 1 since it opened in 2009, ramping up operations at the new Magna Park 2 facility and that it has recently announced plans for a third distribution facility on the same site all indicate that the company's enlightened approach to logistics automation has played a large role in its retail success."
KNAPP AG operates internationally in the field of warehouse automation and warehouse logistics software. The company, headquartered in Austria, has 2,500 employees worldwide. The high export quota of 98 percent reflects the international character of the business: KNAPP has 20 subsidiaries and 13 representative offices around the globe. In the fiscal year 2013/2014, the company achieved a turnover of over €383 million, the highest since its founding.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.