16 Ways to Increase Distribution Center Capacity

As a basic principle, companies need to ensure that the operations are as efficient as possible, increasingthroughput as much as possible while maximizing the capacity and utilization of the space before opting to move to a new facility.  It is critical that the operations have truly taken advantage of the existing facility, due to the high cost of relocating distribution center operations.  

Relocating a facility can, at times, be inevitable, but the disruption of business and impacts on labor mean that you must at first be sure that you have maximized the existing facility. In addition, most major markets are at record levels of warehouse occupancy rates, and lease costs are at all-time highs.  New warehouses being built on speculation are large centers that may not be suitable for small to moderate-sized businesses. 

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How Automation Is Reducing Labor Cost and Improving Order Turnaround Time

To say 2020 was a curveball most businesses would be a gross understatement. While Americans suffered and many small businesses closed permanently, multichannel businesses as a whole saw significantly higher volumes, largely from direct-to-customer orders. The difficulty was in trying to keep workers safe and have enough labor to ship customer orders without falling more than a few days behind. For some clients, the goal was to merely not fall more than 10-14 days behind.

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Use Operational Assessment to Set, Report & Improve Productivity Goals

Many managers look only at the negatives when talking about warehouse productivity. But, most people want to be in Operational Assessment for Productivity Goalsalignment with your productivity goals and to contribute in meaningful ways to the success of your business.

As I conduct an operational assessment with companies focusing on benchmarking and productivity, I find many companies do not openly share their warehouse KPIs and results with employees. Many don’t even have a formal, weekly process for capturing and reporting the KPIs. Those that do a good job of the weekly reporting often don’t have department and individual employee productivity goals and don’t publicly publish the results. You can’t improve something you haven’t measured.

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Warehouse Inventory Management During an E-Commerce Warehouse Relocation

The biggest challenge you’ll face in relocating a warehouse is disruption to your business. If you are fully invested in inventory at an existing 3PL or your internal facility, how will you transfer inventory to start up the new facility without having to shut down for days or even weeks?

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What Are You Doing to Improve Your Operations Management?

If you’ve been around long enough, you recognize that there hasn’t been enough experienced management in retail, catalog and now e-commerce operations for decades. With the Internet growth over the last 15 years, management turnover and the lack of highly qualified managers is apparent and may be holding your company back.

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Operational Assessment: 17 Last Minute Changes before Christmas

For operations professionals in multichannel companies, we all know the drill, the risks and rewards of operational assessmentChristmas. While the time for changing the warehouse layout or adding storage capacity or automation may be past, here are 17 important last minute ideas an operational assessment will identify that everyone can implement to improve productivity and reduce costs.

READ: Key Principles to Assessing Your Warehouse Operations

While conducting hundreds of operational assessments for clients, we have found that the highest benefit areas you can affect during the Holiday season are managing labor better (it’s more than 50% of your cost per order) - in particular the pick and pack departments which are more than 50% of your labor costs. Also, working with shipping carriers - probably your highest overall cost – on your Christmas plans pays off too.

Here are our top 17 picks to improve your operation this Christmas:

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Operational Assessment Can Rid Negative "Tribal Knowledge" in DC

We all know the value of our employees, department and senior managers to our businesses. Within most operational assessmentwarehouses you can find staff that is dedicated and has longevity with the company. These individuals can most likely tell you exactly where most SKUs are located in the warehouse, which vendors have the most vendor compliance issues, and who the fastest pickers and packers are. This type of knowledge, “tribal knowledge”, is what makes things click in the warehouse.

But for many companies, a negative form of tribal knowledge is a detriment to the short term and long term health and throughput of a company.

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Operational Assessment Will Identify How to Better Utilize Your Space

Industry Question: My company has just acquired another catalog and the inventory is pouring in. Operational Assessment warehouse spaceManagement has challenged the distribution center with fitting the new business in our existing footprint until we see if it is going to be successful. I think we are getting close to storage capacity. Do you have any tricks of the trade?

Fulfillment Doctor’s Answer:  Captain Kirk stated it better than anyone - “Space, the final frontier!” The question you ask is one we get asked during an operational assessment we conduct. It is rare that we meet a warehouse manager who isn’t trying to fit 10 lbs of product in a 5 lb sack. Here are several tips which can help you to maximize your distribution center capacity. Read More >

Operational Assessment - Distribution Center A Safe Place To Work?

I will never forget this accident. On a Sunday I got a call from a client, “Can you come immediately to our operational assessment safetydistribution center?” several hours away. Literally a wall of improperly stacked product had collapsed from cartons being crushed. The falling wall created a “domino effect” knocking down 8 aisles of 3 level pallet racking. Luckily no one was hurt or worse – killed. True story.

As we do operational assessment for clients, we see many issues routinely that need to be rectified. Read More >

Get Ready For Holiday Season - Conduct an Operational Audit Now!

Summer time is here, the kids are out of school, time to hit the pool, right? I know that you don't want to operational audithear this, but it is prime time to conduct an operational audit to identify those areas needing improvements. Believe it or not there are only 5 months left before the Holiday season is here again! Make certain that you have ample time to implement your fixes, develop strategies and plans for the distribution center. What are the objectives you and your management team have set for improving operations this year?

Here are a few areas to look at for your operational audit in order to determine what changes will be most beneficial to your distribution center and operations: 

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