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.Read More >
Most companies want to improve their operations and become more efficient. The desire and need to improve is there. However, their systems are holding them back. FCBCO sees time and time again during operational assessments, the majority of the recommendations for becoming more efficient and moving to the next level operationally, cannot be implemented without implementing a new system. The right Warehouse Management System (WMS) for your company makes improvement possible through stronger functionality and improved warehousing processes.Read More >
In our consulting practice, we often hear the question "how does my cost per order compare to others". Management wants to be sure that the warehouse and distribution expenses are in line, and as efficient as possible. Companies typically benchmark against other warehouse and distribution center operations, to measure the performance of their company’s services, processes and metrics against those of another business. Companies also benchmark against the best in a specific industry (i.e. “best in class.”). The point of benchmarking is to identify internal opportunities for improvement as companies strive for continuous process improvement.
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Labor is continual challenge for most every business. Outside pressures from other businesses, as well as state governments are continually driving up labor costs. The latest example is from the retailing giant Target. On June 17th, Target announced that it will permanently raise its minimum wage for workers by $2, to $15 per hour starting next month. These cost increases will have a direct impact on your fulfillment cost per order.Read More >
There are many types of warehouse operational metrics you can use to measure the order throughput, inventory accuracy, cost of departmental operations and customer service.
For 34 years, F. Curtis Barry & Company has assisted clients in defining key metrics, how to measure the operational performance and implement best practices.
Continual process improvement is a principle many companies subscribe to, but they don’t have reliable data to measure productivity of current processes. Process improvement should begin with this principle: “If you have not measured it, you cannot improve it.”
I was in a client facility last week working on a plan for a new warehouse. As we were discussing the outbound shipping history and its projected growth, we noted that it was erratic. The senior director commented that absenteeism and turnover were major problems for his center. Absenteeism caused as much as a 30% variation in units scheduled for shipment and employee turnover is 44%. This center has 105 hourly workers and seven managers. The turnover is 49 employees annually.Read More >
I was talking to a client and he confessed that time had slipped away from them in implementing a full warehouse assessment. As he and I were creatively thinking what he can do in the couple months before this Holiday Season, here are three things everyone can do to improve Holiday season productivity.
We have worked with hundreds of clients over the years to help them calculate and compare their total cost per order (call center and fulfillment functions). We are offering you the opportunity to take advantage of a free offer - if you collect and report what your major costs are for order taking and fulfillment, we will compare your total cost per order against other multichannel businesses that we within our benchmarking database. All companies will remain anonymous and blind to any others that participate. Click to download data collection spreadsheet.
Labor generally makes up 60–65% of the total cost of warehouse fulfillment (not including shipping). While hourly labor rates have increased 10% to 15% in the past five years, overall DC productivity has remained flat—so the cost per unit worked has increased. High turnover (15–25% or more in many distribution centers) adds even more costs. With most businesses struggling in the current economy, it’s imperative to get more from the resources you have. Selecting, training, and retaining good employees is one key to controlling rising costs in the warehouse.
F. Curtis Barry & Company is proud to present our just recently published WMS Vendor Round-Up Guide. It is the most comprehensive guide to Warehouse Management Systems that serve catalog and eCommerce fulfillment operations and distribution centers.