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Catch up with Iron Mountain ahead of IMHX 2022

Exhibiting at IMHX 2022

Stand 5C81

Ahead of IMHX 2022, Phil Shepley - VP and Head of Commercial UK at Iron Mountain, chatted to us about all things IMHX, new product launches, sustainability and key market trends to watch out for.

To learn more about Iron Mountain, visit them at IMHX 2022 or head over to the Iron Mountain website.

Get more information about the launch of their Rugby Campus Solution here.

Undoubtedly the industry has undergone significant transformation in the last 3 years. The heady mix of Brexit and Covid has led many to reflect on the efficiency of their supply chain solutions and in many cases provided the catalyst for change. The increasing e-commerce demand has had a transformative effect on the high street, as well as end customers’ expectations of how and when they make a purchase.

The Industry is helping facilitate this change, with increasing reliance on technology, with improvements in software solutions. This is achieved through better informed supply chain information and with hardware solutions, such as automation, with technology being employed to supplement recruitment needs, as labour shortages continue to plague the economy. Uncertainty within global supply chains suggest that retailers and manufacturers will need to adopt a more flexible solution moving forward, increasing stock holdings as ‘just in time’ is replaced by’ in-country’  local storage to create ‘surety of supply’. 

We know that this significant supply chain shift will continue in future years, with increased reliance on the surety of supply to meet consumer demands.

Over the past 2 years, Iron Mountain has made a significant investment in warehousing capacity and logistics services we offer to our extensive, global client base. This will continue throughout 2022 &2023 as further new carbon positive warehousing solutions come on stream. In particular, in 2022 Iron Mountain is opening three new facilities in and around the golden triangle, creating a further 1 million sq ft of high bay storage space.

The implementation of our Warehouse Management System within these new facilities will allow Iron Mountain to offer case picking and other fulfilment solutions with full track and traceability of all products leaving the warehouses.

In 2023, we are also pleased to announce a further significant property portfolio investment in our Rugby Campus Solution. With circa 1 million sq ft of high bay storage space spread over multiple buildings, this facility will provide solutions for both dedicated and shared user clients, supported by a flexible workforce of highly trained, security cleared dedicated employees with the ability to work across several contracts to give our clients the ultimate supply chain flexibility. Details of the megahub will be available at our stand - come find us at stand 5C81!

Iron Mountain is committed to our Climate Pledge to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2040. Since 2016, Iron Mountain has achieved a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 52%, easily surpassing our original target of a 25% reduction by 2025.

We have recently made significant investment in our UK Warehousing Estate, creating modern purpose built campus style hubs. Our future investment in these facilities will continue to be the basis for future property investments. 

Our future investment will continue to deliver Carbon Neutral, high BREAM rating facilities and will further allow us to rationalise our historic estate. To date, we have collapsed 90 sites into 50, releasing city centre/suburb locations back to the local community for redevelopment.

Further investment in electric vehicles, coupled with our mantra of making investment decisions based on Carbon Neutrality is fully aligned to our goal to create one of the largest, modern, sustainable networks that will benefit our workforce, our clients and the planet. 

The industry will continue to evolve over the next few years. The 3 key factors that we believe will have the most significant effect on the industry will be:

Global Uncertainty – Over the last few decades, the trend has been to create lean supply chains, with minimal stock holding, with multiple channels to create some level of resilience. However recent history has shown that this methodology is no longer always viable. The Global pandemic is the obvious agitator to disrupt these lean supply chain principles, but further examples can be directly attributed to both climate and political uncertainty which will continue to create uncertainty and disruption to supply chains throughout the world.

Labour Shortage - a significant UK issue, due to various political and economic factors there is currently a skills gap in the working population. Many industries are currently facing difficulties in recruitment, with individuals having a greater choice in career direction. The Logistics industry is not immune to these issues. Pay and working conditions are not always favourable in the sector when compared to others. There is significant financial pressure on all within the sector to create an attractive industry, one in which individuals feel better recompensed, with shift patterns that suit individual’s needs and with a recognisable career path to ensure continued long-term commitment to the sector.

Changing Consumer demands - Consumers expect more from manufacturers and retailers alike. They have increasing demand for product choice and availability. Not having stock available generally results in a loss of sales, as the consumer reverts to an alternative source. Satisfying the final mile requirements is also a factor. The end consumer now demands certainty in delivery days and times to ensure successful completed delivery. That said, even with these factors, the right to return items will become an increasing issue within the industry. Returned products will naturally increase, with zero costs attributed to the returning customer, and the industry’s ability to ‘recycle’ these returns as effectively as possible will be an increasing priority.