8 Areas for Warehouse Optimization at Peak

warehouse-optimization-peakPeak 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 to 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.

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4 Storage Options for Efficient Spare Parts Inventory Management

It can often seem overwhelming to try and find that one spare part needed in the vast sea of inventory that is the spare parts warehouse. As warehouse and stock room consultants, we see it all too often, thousands of parts in inventory with no real plan to store or organize them efficiently.

It may seem like it will never get better, but with the right storage solutions, your spare parts warehouse can be an organized and well-oiled machine, just like the ones your parts help to fix and maintain. There are many different solutions that range in cost and complexity. There is something available for all size parts and all size inventories.

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6 Things All Fulfillment Centers Should Assess Today

As you and your operations team begin down the road of performing an operations assessment to improve warehouse logistics, it can quicky begin to feel overwhelming. If you know the right areas to cover and focus on, the process will be much smoother and produce better results. One key tip is to allocate certain parts of the warehouse assessment, or warehouse evaluation, to different team members. Within any supply chain strategy, it is important to remember that data is imperative. The first step in your assessment should be to gather all important data related to the warehouse operations.

As warehouse consultants and having performed many assessments over the years, we have developed the following key areas that an assessment needs to cover.
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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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7 Ways to Improve Your Capacity with Layout and Design Principles

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.

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16 Ways to Increase Distribution Center Capacity

As a basic principle, companies need to ensure that the operations are as efficient as possible, increasing throughput 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. 

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Warehouse Layout Design Principles

bigstock-Trucks-And-Warehouse-1129204There 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.

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How to Improve Space Utilization in Your Fulfillment Center

crowded-warehouseWarehouses are expensive for companies to operate considering the total fulfillment costs of labor, occupancy, and storage and material handling assets. Often, warehouse space is 15 to 20% of the cost per order.

Increasing capacity of the warehouse should not be confined to changes in space use and increasing stock locations only. The assessment and solutions need to take into account the warehouse layout, product flow, labor efficiency, storage and material handling options, safety, throughput, and warehousing system functions, to name a few elements. It’s the integration of these elements that makes for efficiency.

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12 Considerations For Adding Space to Your DC Using Mezzanines

In performing warehouse assessments on companies and trying to find ways to improve storage capacity and increase the total order throughput, one of the major alternatives to moving to a new facility is to look at adding mezzanines to the existing building.

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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 >
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