Sunday, June 12, 2011

5 Basic Components of Warehousing

Speed, accuracy, reduced labor costs, storage density…Sound familiar. These are issues most warehouses face today. What is interesting is that this was compiled from warehouses listing their key issues facing them from 10 years ago. Some things never change.

Although the industry has evolved over the years and employs many levels of automation and technology, a common theme is the need to address these timeless objectives. In working with companies who are addressing these issues, there is another common thread. That is a return to the basic processes in the warehouse.

As with issues staying the same, most warehouse functions and processes have remained relatively the same over the years. The application of technology or automation may have changed the way the function or process is achieved, but the objective and overall functional process itself remain the same.

With the ongoing commonality of warehouse functions among companies, we have found that almost every warehouse can enjoy benefits by addressing the basic operating infrastructure and processes in place today. One of the best ways to evaluate your basic warehouse needs is to have an independent warehouse assessment conducted.

The warehouse assessment process enables you to identify areas where you can improve operational performance. The five basic components of the warehouse assessment are:

1. Walkthrough and observations of the operation

2. Data gathering of necessary information and metrics

3. Interviews with key staff members

4. Report analysis to determine current productivity and service levels

5. External benchmarking to look for areas of potential improvement

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