Best Practices in Today’s Distribution Center
Best Practices in Distribution Center
A business may achieve success or complete failure depending on the selection of human resource, process tools and technology. The distribution center is crucial to the business environment. According to Don Derewecki, the executive vice president of Gross & Associates, businesses no longer require warehouses in order to operate effectively. Instead, throughput centers have become popular in today’s business environment. While best practices are bound to yield success, the complex nature of many organizations make it a major challenge for management. As such, it is vital to have a best practice program in order to aid in labor and time optimization while reducing errors and increasing accuracy.
A best practice program should be continuous since processes always require improvement. While different organizations utilize different best practices, certain factors remain constant. First, the use of advanced shipping notification (ASN) allows the sender and receiver to communicate before the actual exchange of the products. With the vast range of technology available, there is always a medium for which to communicate the ASN. Secondly, an organization may implement a vendor compliance program, which goes hand in hand with the ASN. Additionally, such a system helps to communicate to the vendor the quality, quantity and even delivery method of the product.
Third, an organization may Use automatic data collection technology instead of the manual data collection and keeping techniques. Automated data collection saves times and increases accuracy. Fourth, recording every product movement as a transaction enhances the integrity of inventory data and reduces chances of unwarranted loses. Since some warehouses store up to 40, 000 varieties of different products, confusion is bound to occur. Such confusion may lead to chaos, frustrated customers and a loss in the company’s reputation.
Fifth, minimizing touches can be achieved through a number of techniques. One such technique is picking to a shipping carton rather than picking to a tote. Additionally, the use of print-and-apply labeling systems that print labels on the fly or semi-automated or automated sealing/taping stations may help reduce touches in the warehouse. Sixth, warehouse management may opt to use best practices in measurement. When designing best practices, metrics should be designed as well in order to establish the success rate. Besides, the requirements must be evaluated continually in order to determine whether it is working or any change should be made. Best practices should not be devised and only evaluated after five years.