8 Ways to Enhance Distribution Center Effectiveness

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 In Brief

One key factor for supply chain effectiveness is goods distribution.  Distribution centers experience different levels of complication.  Yet, in each and every center, there are 8 things you can do to signinificantly enhance work processies !

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    Supply chain and logistics operators are well aware of the complications pertaining to distribution center management as it entails numerous activities and details while business needs must be responded to.  Let’s take a look at 8 ways to enhance the work process and make it run more smoothly.

1. Make Safety Part of Your Culture.

Safety is something one must not overlook because employees must at no time feel ignored by the company or that the company gives priority to work itself over their living conditions.  The retrieving and distribution of goods entail the process where time is most precious.  The more swiftly the process can be executed, the better customer needs will be responded to.  But, whenever the employee feels pressed for time, accident risk can occur.

2. Prevent Theft and Encourage Whistleblowing.

Trust and confidence are difficult and sensitive issues.  Besides, the company may be totally unaware of inventory loss until its staff come across it when they want to retrieve the items stated on the customer’s order – a case of damage which bears directly on the customer.  Thus, when something abnormal occurs, the work atmosphere should be based on a trust-but-verify approach.  (‘We trust you but need to verify for the sake of accuracy.’)

3. Ask Your Vendors for Insight.

Your business partners (vendors) can supply insight information previously unknown and/or inaccessible to you, be it criticism, advice or sometimes customer insights.  Thus, cordial relations should be forged with them so as to ensure parallel growth and development, which mean tremendous values added to the organization.

4. Take Preventative Maintenance Seriously.

Machinery maintenance is similar with looking after our health and well-being.  Why wait until we are ill to see the doctor?  A check list should be kept on hand for every part of the machinery to verify that it functions normally or it is time for repair and maintenance as a means to safeguard against severe damage to the organization.  Just take for example the case of a machinery breakdown or old or tilted shelves with some knots missing causing goods on the shelves to fall down and/or be damaged.  Aside from the time it takes to put them up, the company will have to make compensation payments for damages to customers while being faced with opportunity cost as well as customer dissatisfaction.

5. Technology Implementation

With technology becoming an integral part of our lives today, it has been used to replace human force, thereby helping enhance and speed up work.  A vivid example is the storage of goods at SCG Logistics Central Distribution Center (CDC) Wang Noi District where the technology known as Automate Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) has been used to speed up storage with a higher degree of precision and accuracy along with safety on the part of both products and workers while the use of space inside the warehouse has proved more cost-effective.

6. Collect Data Automatically.

The more we can do away with human error problems, the better for the business.  Particularly in the area of data collection, the use of technology such as RFID tags or barcodes brings about first and foremost precision and clarity as data will be uniformly stored which make them easy for processing and analysis.  On the contrary, data collected by humans might be stored non-uniformly.  Even if the data are stored uniformly, details pertaining to word spacing and spelling could still vary, thereby making it difficult for further analysis.

7. Reduce Touches

This connotes redundancies within the work process as well as unnecessary actions.  For instance, in the context of warehouse, space management should be given priority over other issues.  Space must be managed so as to best enhance goods retrieval and storage.  This is the very reason why we must determine which goods are fast- and which are slow-moving.  This, in turn, would help decide how best to manage warehouse space.  Fast-moving goods should be stored as close to the exit as possible to facilitate swift retrieval and distribution.  Reducing work procedures requires careful consideration, analysis as well as verification, all of which entails a time-consuming study.  Still, it is a worthwhile undertaking considering what one gets in return.

8. Take a Hands-on Approach to Returns.

It can be enormously useful if the above can be implemented on our own as doing it will bring about thorough understanding as far as the mission is concerned, particularly the series of activities at the distribution center.   We will find out how goods are stored and distributed from the warehouse, especially in the case of returned goods.  This is because we are able to determine which of them can be modified and resold and which must be reordered.  Besides, there are also cases where non-moving items have to be repaired and/or written off.  Thorough understanding about what is all involved can enable us to analyze and locate weaknesses in the work process which does not benefit the business and consequently lead to development and, in turn, enhancement of the entire supply chain.

The aforementioned 8 represent a simple approach which can be implemented to enhance work process.  The quest to learn in order to have better understanding of the work itself coupled with creative thinking and commitment to seeing better things will provide propel the operation to future success.  All you need to do is get started, today.

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Compiled by   BLOG.SCGLogistics

Reference and picture credits: rednewswire.com, cerasis.com, pexels.com

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