Peak season brings unique supply chain and operational challenges that are not experienced at other times of the year. The need to improve warehouse operations during non-peak times is critical. It can be very difficult improve order fulfillment during the peak season. However, just because you can’t make changes, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for changes to make.Read More >
Most distribution center operations have seen significant increases in warehouse labor costs, as well as all time high lease costs for a new facility. These factors have driven more companies to consider warehouse automation to remain in the current facility longer and reduce the labor costs. These two cost components can radically increase your cost per order. However, this does not mean that companies should simply employ automation without achieving a cost-effective warehouse automation ROI.
One of the first aspects in determining the warehouse automation ROI is to ensure that the automated solutions being considered are realistic for your business. Many companies begin their process with some “YouTube shopping”, becoming enamored with a certain automation system. That skips over any detail consideration of current process, systems and costs.Read More >
It is hard not to conclude that the US will be in the midst of another recession based on the economic indicators. How major the financial impact might be, or how long the recession might last is less clear. Building operational resilience and developing problem/solution scenarios prior to a recession will allow you to be more nimble and weather the impending economic downturn.
It is important to have a plan for addressing these challenges versus just hoping it does not occur. “Hope” is not a strategy. The key is to include the various department heads early in the discussions; identify areas that should be reviewed; and develop a course of action.
Based on previous recessions, we have compiled a list of areas where operations should proactively address.
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Operations are under a lot of pressure to continually meet customer demands, as well as to support marketing and merchandising initiatives which often means adding many products, providing value added services to customers, and increasing order volumes. From a warehousing and distribution consultant perspective, we are often asked what the tasks are that the warehouse operations can undertake, that can have the largest impact.Read More >
One of the most frequent themes we hear from clients when discussing layout and design projects is that space capacity is a concern in the current facility. If a new facility is not in the future for your company, how can you continue growing sales and inventory, knowing you only have the current space to work with. Let’s make the assumption that your company is already fine-tuning inventory forecasting and removing excess and aged inventory – what are the next steps?
This article looks at some of the ways changes to the layout and design can help to improve capacity and extend the life expectancy of the current space.Read More >
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.Read More >
There are several basic principles that apply to warehouse layout design and running an effective distribution center operation. Without the proper layout and design of your distribution center, no matter the square footage, you will face capacity issues, decreased productivity, and storage inadequacies.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the 28 key principles that you should consider for warehouse layout design and productivity.Read More >
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?Read More >
As we shop this Christmas season, we have had three examples that stand out from all the rest:
- We had our first same day order and same day delivery from Amazon.com. It wasn’t something we requested but we pleasantly surprised to get. Amazon has two distribution centers in Richmond, VA where we live. The order was placed on a Saturday in the late morning and delivered within four hours to our home. Frankly, I know that this isn’t an economical option for most businesses (maybe including Amazon). But I’ll tell you it is a formidable marketing weapon. It was extremely fulfilling to receive the item so quickly without leaving home.