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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9 Questions About Fulfillment Center Automation

Installing automation and conveyance systems in your fulfillment and distribution center is a major capital expense and long lead time. It requires considerable expertise, time to plan, and implement these systems properly.

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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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8 Quick Things to Do to Improve Fulfillment for the 2016 Holiday Season

Though it may seem like your business preparation for peak season 2016 is over and you’re focused on execution, peak season 2016 is not over yet!

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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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How Can an Operational Assessment Alleviate $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage?

The Republican debate failed to focus on this key issue that I think is brewing in this election cycle and foroperational assessment the economy. We first wrote about this topic when Seattle adopted a $15 per hour minimum wage for restaurant workers in March 2015.

Two weeks ago, news outlets sounded the alarm again about the possibility of $15 per hour minimum wage. Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) supports raising the federal wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $15. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) want to push the minimum wage to $12 per hour. President Obama has edged up his support from $9.00 to $10.10 and now $12. Hillary Clinton backed $15 per hour for New York fast-food workers on July 24th, but hasn’t specified a wage floor for the nation. From an implementation objective, the full effect of proposed increases are often stair-stepped over 3 to 5 years.

Budget experts and many Republican candidates warn such a hike could eliminate millions of U.S. jobs.

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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 >

Operational Assessments Show Important Operation Managers Skill Sets

As distribution center consultants we have been in a lot of facilities over the years, and have been bigstock-wholesale-logistic-business--170591063.jpg
brought on to conduct operational assessments. Within these assessments we typically get asked to evaluate operations and warehouse managers and their skills. We have met a lot of  managers with varying roles and skill levels. Throughout all of these operational assessments, there are 4 critical skills that we feel operations managers should possess in order to be successful. The days of top down, controlling management are hopefully far behind us. It is no longer the role of the manager to “keep the staff in line!”

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