What We Saw, Heard and Learned at MODEX 2020

As one of the biggest supply chain and material handling conferences in the country — with a history of impactful presentations, jam-packed show floors and meaningful connections with industry peers — CCS always has high expectations for MODEX. Unsurprisingly, MHI once again put on an incredible show that blew our expectations out of the water, even in the midst of an emerging pandemic.

CCS’ booth display showcased mixed case palletizing and depalletizing and our new spiral merge/divert accumulating spiral conveyor. We are excited to have had the opportunity to share it with the material handling community. If you missed us at MODEX, check out a short video recap of our booth.

MODEX means a lot more to us than connecting with new potential partners and showing off our intelligent automation solutions in person. It’s also a fantastic learning experience for everyone at CCS. From executive to engineer, installer to marketer, or salesperson to operations managers, there’s something to learn for everyone involved with CCS’ MODEX participation. Most of all, MODEX is a fantastic opportunity to get a pulse on what’s happening around the industry so we can continue to innovate and provide impactful and relevant service to our clients. These are our five biggest takeaways from MODEX 2020.

1. The material handling industry is changing, FAST
Nowadays, people are constantly finding new ways to use data to enhance every facet of the modern-day global economy. The material handling industry is no different. Enhanced data collection is equipping companies with unprecedented amounts of insight into their operations. This insight is in turn being leveraged to guide where and how they allocate their resources to improving their supply chains. As this capacity for understanding and using data grows, the automation required to improve efficiency and increase profit margins is transforming skills and equipment needed in the workplace. This is shifting how they optimize processes and get things accomplished efficiently and effectively, changing both the what — and the who — of the supply chain industry.

2. Sustainability in the supply chain is gaining more importance
Globally, the world is trending “greener”. More and more companies are starting to become more observant of their impact on the environment and are trying to find new and exciting ways to be environmentally responsible without breaking their budgets. MODEX 2020 showed us just how much in the forefront these initiatives are for providers and attendees alike. As companies look for innovative ways to cut down on packaging and waste within their supply chains, demand for solutions that can accommodate these desires. For example, we saw several exhibitors providing on-demand, custom carton sizes to reduce waste, while other generally touted their solutions helping distribution centers run leaner as prime ways to reduce environmental impact.

3. Technology is reaching new heights every year
Much like data, technology and the way it is used in business is changing at an extremely rapid pace. All across the tradeshow floor, technology was a key buzzword. Technology to help your workers be more efficient, technology to help you manage your inventory more efficiently, technology to change the way your end users receive or interact with their products — there seemed to be a technological solution for every supply chain challenge you could think of. Some of the most incredible examples of technology in the material handling industry we saw were robotics, like automating with vision, remote equipment monitoring and collaborative robots.

4. Suppliers are better equipped than ever to help you navigate the changing landscap
Keeping your supply chain equipped for the future is paramount no matter what industry you’re in. Supply chain requirements are guaranteed to change over time, like they have recently to accommodate online shopping and the rise of distribution giants. As solution providers, our goal is to be ahead of the curve and always have the most efficient and innovative solutions available so that our clients are the best equipped they can be to deal with changing markets. It was inspiring to see CCS and the other industry suppliers at MODEX this year showcase their abilities to take supply chain and warehouse equipment to the next level. We saw a wide variety of solutions that supported a future where supply chains are agile, sustainable, collaborative and efficient.

5. We’re not the only ones noticing a rise in labor as a pain point
Our entire theme for MODEX 2020 was addressing the labor crisis currently at the forefront of the material handling industry’s focus. Things like rising labor costs, costly workers compensation claims, unnecessary touchpoints or overall labor scarcity in supply chains is having a profound impact on how companies are managing their business. This labor crisis is currently one of the biggest issues facing the material handling industry, and we’re not the only ones focusing on it. Across the floor, we saw displays, spoke with other vendors and attendees who are also focused on solving labor issues. If you’re currently struggling with any issues regarding labor, consider automation as a solution. Read our recent blog post, How the Supply Chain Industry is Addressing Labor Shortages, for more info.