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 >
Your competition isn't waiting for you to get caught up, in fact, they want to quickly gain a competitive advantage over you this season. Amazon and other large retailers keep making gains which puts more pressure on everyone else. Customers buying habits are changing, and so are their expectations. These five strategies are ones that we have seen clients become hyper-focused on most recently. Don't let the competition pass you by, find out what others are working on to remain competitive.Read More >
Getting the most from your third party logistics (3PL) provider this peak season starts with your forecasting accuracy. In order for you to get the most from 3PL solutions, you need to have established measurable service levels that are agreed to by both parties as part of your agreement. Establishing these service levels, and having the 3PL vendor meet them requires that you supply realistic forecasts for calls and order volumes by day, by week a month in advance so that the vendor can plan staffing accordingly.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.
Believe it or not, there is still a window of opportunity to make sure you are ready for this Holiday Season. Just think back to last year's peak season for a moment. Can you and your business afford to have Round 2 (and for some of you it may be Round 10 or 12) of the issues that you faced in past peak seasons? You may have completed a brief post Holiday Season review of what worked and what needs to change in your operations. Dust off that document and review with management the outlined issues that occurred last year and the ones that still need to be addressed. This should be done before any other areas are assessed and tackled.
Industry Question: I have been trying to get permission from my boss to get some outside help in conducting a warehouse assessment of my fulfillment operation. I really to make sure I am prepared for the “Christmas Crush”. Last year was almost a train wreck, and I am very worried about this coming season. Last week I received approval to hire a consultant for the warehouse assessment, but it’s already the beginning of November. I wanted to do this back in July. Is it too late to do the warehouse assessment? What should I do?
Recently we had to assist a company that was in the midst of a warehouse move, but had failed to properly plan. The facility and location was selected, and the new warehouse facility is located roughly 825 miles from their current DC. Along the way, they reaslized they had forgotten about many aspects. What seems like a simple concept or moving from one facility to another can become a daunting task in a hurry.
Analyze this: In deciding whether to shop direct or retail, 81% of consumers state that ease of returns as an important to their decision, according to a past survey by Harris Interactive for Newgistics. The numbers are even more telling after a return is made - 95% of customers are likely to shop with an online merchant again if the return process is convenient. What that says to marketers is that even if a customer returns a purchase, the experience can still be a positive one in terms of instilling loyalty.
Over these last couple of years, operations managers and supervisors have gone to great lengths to reduce expenses throughout their operations. Some companies have looked at their freight and transportation expenses and others their corrugated and packing materials. These may not be enough for most companies.
Remember, if you can’t measure something, it is difficult—if not impossible—to improve it. An operational assessment can help you improve productivity; use distribution center space more efficiently; improve throughput and capacity of orders processed in the warehouse; streamline work-flow by reducing steps; improve service levels, processes and costs; and generally achieve higher profits and lower costs. If these are your goals, combining measurement of the various components of the operation with a structured approach to develop improvements is the key to successfully acting on the assessment findings. Once you gather the information and make the comparisons, you’ll be able to draft an action plan.
Five Basic Components of an Assessment
The assessment process enables you to identify areas where you can improve operational performance. The five basic components of the assessment are:
1. Walkthrough and observations of the operation