When to Consider an Assessment of Your Warehouse Operations?

Warehousing and distribution are dynamic industries, with many facets always in motion – whether it’s the changing supply chain to meet current constraints, continual shipping cost increases, or labor challenges that threaten to impede growth.  The operations in your distribution center must also change, driven by a mindset of continual process improvement as part of your overall supply chain strategy. 

All too often, we see operations that have become stagnant or once optimized but then managed and run the same way for many years with little change.  Many times, they have not stayed proactive, and their costs, processes, and systems do not serve the company well.

Distribution and warehouse operational assessments allow companies to review the people, processes, layout, and systems to identify where, and how, changes should occur.  The goal of any operations assessment is to improve operational efficiencies; drive down costs; increase throughput while meeting or exceeding customer expectations. 

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What Is An Operational Assessment In Fulfillment?

As warehouse consultants, we work with a wide range of businesses, the discussions often surround topics such as, "How do we know if we are as efficient as we could be?  What do we need to change to support the business’ growth and order fulfillment needs?”  The short answer is typically companies need to perform a warehouse or distribution center operations assessment.  operational assessment

So, what is an operations assessment?  It is a methodical and comprehensive approach to analyzing all facets of the operations – from organizational staffing, team members and people utilization; processes, and warehouse management systems; to the layout of the facility; and how material handling equipment and automation are deployed. The objectives are to identify all the ways in which the warehouse operations and the physical assets can/should be improved to meet both the customer’s and management’s expectations and requirements.   These recommendations should then be prioritized based on resources; capital expenditures required as well as benefits to build a roadmap for implementing the recommendations. 

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9 Distribution Center Benefits From Capturing Item Weight & Dimensions

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.

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27 Point Checklist to Negotiate a 3PL Contract

After months of working with prospective 3PL vendors to support your supply chain, you likely received hundreds of pages of documentation and verbal promises.  Once you have determined your preferred 3PL partner, it is time to begin to negotiate the contract.  

All of the critical documentation from the sales process is important to capture in a 3PL agreement.  This step is critical to protecting your business. In this final phase, you will want to have two parties review the agreement, the first being your attorney.  

Your attorney will provide you legal advice to protect your business, do no skip this review for the sake of just moving ahead. 

Secondly, you will want to have a 3PL consultant analyze the contract language from a business perspective.  This review will help you to understand if the 3PL contract meets industry standards and expectations.  

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Creating Your Third Party Logistics Strategy: 20 Critical Implementation Tasks

Using third party fulfillment (3PL) partners for your distribution logistics needs can provide tremendous benefits for your multichannel and e-commerce business. One way some companies use 3PL is as an additional node in their distribution network. A strategically located warehouse can reduce time in transit to customers as well as lower shipping costs.

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How To Select The Best 3PL Companies For Your Business

Many direct and e-commerce businesses make strategic and cost-effective use of 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) to provide warehousing and distribution services which include order fulfillment for clients. At the heart of this process is finding 3PL companies that provide fulfillment services that are in line with your needs and supply chain strategy. The following six criteria should be used to determine which 3PL companies are a good choice:

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How to Better Utilize Your Distribution Center Space

With the recent growth in online demand, it is putting more constraints on supply chains and distribution space.  This often means that facilities are filling up faster than expected.  This challenge also occurs when companies acquire brands or expand into a new line of business, and the associated inventory is being transferred into the existing warehouse space. 

In most facilities, available storage space is already at a premium even before the new inventory arrives. So, what are some ways facilities can be better utilized in order to avoid taking on additional space?

This question may be the number one question asked as we conduct operational assessments with clients. It is rare that we meet a warehouse manager, or visit a distribution center where they are not trying to fit more product into what seems like nonexistent space - or having to utilize off-site storage. 

Here are seven tips that can help you to maximize your distribution center capacity.

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How To Improve Fulfillment Center Peak Season Performance

Peak period order volumes often stress fulfillment processes and labor requirements which may cause decreased customer service and drive costs higher.  Process exceptions and errors are magnified by order volume. How well did your fulfillment center perform in the last peak season?  Do you have a plan for improvement to scale to the next peak season’s projected volume?  This article details how to identify the operational changes to evaluate, and possibly change, to make the next peak season more efficient.

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Automated Warehouse Robots: 4 Considerations for Fulfillment

For many companies, trying to recruit and retain hourly workers is one of their biggest supply chain challenges. Automated warehouse robots have evolved dramatically in the past three to five years. In many solutions, the cost of technology has decreased below that of the average worker.
This is especially true when you consider the fully loaded labor costs for benefits, taxes, training and recruitment. This is discussed later in this article.

Utilizing various technologies allows warehouse operations to retain, develop and train their core staff that will continue to support the long-term growth. While these technologies do decrease the dependency on human labor, there still must be a strong core of workers to manage the processes. As your company considers evaluating and selecting the right automated warehouse robots for your business, here are four important considerations.

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Understanding the 2022 FedEx Rate Increases

With shipping volumes remaining at record levels, most all freight methods and carriers have struggled to keep up with the demand. This has led to skyrocketing prices on everything from inbound container loads to small parcel ground delivery. Managing these ever-increasing transportation costs and changes in service levels has become increasingly more complex – especially in the small parcel arena. First, we will discuss the rates increases. Then, how we can assist you in taking action.

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