Distribution Centre Strategies for Efficiency & Competitiveness

Early supply-chain initiatives changed the emphasis of logistics operations from productivity improvement to inventory reduction. Experts have noted that the largest saving in logistics costs during the last thirty years has been due to reduced stock. Diminished inventories allow for the closing of facilities, which encourages inventory centralization, closer control of safety stocks, and elimination of obsolete and slow-moving items. This further lessens the need to maintain inventory at so many locations, which changes the role of some facilities from storage to product flow; that is, from warehouse to distribution centre.
DC’s now perform multiple tasks like storing goods, processing products, de-aggregating vehicle loads, creating SKU assortments, and assembling shipments. Modern distribution centres focus on product movement and throughput (receiving, put away, order picking, order assembly, and shipping), and information collection and reporting (throughput and utilization, transportation documentation, loss and damage claim support), rather than storage. This all makes it an important area for innovation, improvisation and upgradation of systems, processes, digitalisation so provide adequate support to supply chains

WHY GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION CENTERS SUMMIT

  • Well researched, tailor made agenda in line with the needs of the Warehouse & Distribution Professionals
  • Content delivery by Handpicked panel of industry, consulting and academician speakers
  • Judicious mix of practical case studies, interactive panel discussions and expert keynotes for comprehensive learning
  • An exclusive gathering of 200+ stakeholders comprising warehouse and distribution leaders from 3PL, automotive, retail, food, fmcg, e-commerce, manufacturing...
  • Comprehensive event touching priority areas like distribution strategies, best practice and digitalisation

The 4 Essentials of Warehouse and Distribution Centre Design

Establish the Objective of the Facility

The efficiency, effective utilisation, running costs, working environment of your warehouse all depend on its fitness for purpose. This becomes even more important as distribution and fulfillment processes change in line with the shift toward omnichannel sales.

Analyse Volumes and Clearly Define Functional Requirements

Warehouses are expensive capital investments, so when you design a new one, you want to be sure your business will not outgrow its volumetric capacity or throughput capabilities too quickly. That’s exactly what will happen if, for example, you underestimate the quantities of products your warehouse must comfortably hold. I say “comfortably” because you never want your warehouse to be running at 100% of physical capacity. After all, aside from anything else, you need a fair amount of working space.

Select Right Kind and Quantity of Equipment

Once the data has been analysed, the designer is ready for equipment selection. Be it static racking equipment, mezzanines and the like, or mechanical equipment such as conveyors, carousels, stacker cranes etc., all equipment and systems must be applied according to their purpose, limitations, and suitability for the volumes handled.

Minimise Manual Material Handling

A simple rule that says it all: keep manual handling of products to a minimum—ideally no more than 3-5 touches while goods are in the warehouse. Sadly, many operations handle goods as many as eight to ten times. Severe design or building constraints are often at the root of such situations. But the outcome is evident in the maxim: ‘more touches, more cost’. Take note!

9 Ways to Transform Warehouses & Distribution Centres

Automated Inventory Monitoring

AI is giving an insight on how the companies can change the face of this whole wide world by using eliminating the use of any of the inventory checking manually. It focuses on automation in a manner that the company can use its manpower and resource somewhere thereby adding to productivity. This enables even a facility manager to keep a track of a product in real-time without even putting efforts manually. Everything is just a click away or a pocket away from them. Smartphone and AI are surely bringing out the change for them.

Continuous Improvement Process

Great merchants and marketers measure everything and do post mortems of their promotions and results. Do an assessment. Work out a plan. Set objectives and accountability for improvement, review progress and start again.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is influencing factor of the key applications and software used by companies. It has made the complex task of analysing bulk data simple and added a lot to its accuracy helping improve the forecasting of demand and supply chain. In addition to this simulation technology is offering enterprises the convenience and opportunity of data modelling in real-time easy allowing AI to analyze the statics and track it over time. house.

Simplify Processes – Reduce Touch Points – Reduce Costs

Over the years, have you been layering new functions over longer term existing ones? Do product flow and order flow no longer make sense and crisscross the floor? Take a fresh look at the physical processes and steps involved in product flow and order fulfillment. Generally speaking, less steps equal fewer touches equal lower costs.

Clearly Defined KPI’s

Does your operation capture and manage critical KPIs? Do you know your critical productivity and costs on shipped orders, cost per box and cost per line shipped? How can we assess and put in place cost reduction measures if we don’t know the baseline? What do various types of errors cost? What do returns cost? Once these things are established, THEN create regular feedback to the employees on individual and departmental performance. They’ll respond and give you higher productivity.

Inbound Supply Chain

Changes to supply chain include scheduling inbound purchase orders to manage the receiving dock and yard better. Develop vendor compliance policies, including purchasing terms and conditions, on-time delivery, quality and item specifications, routing guides and importing guides, product packaging and labeling and drop ship vendor standards. Push quality and value-added services up the supply chain to the vendors so the product is ready to be put away or shipped. This reduces labor for rework of mistakes.

Voice-Enabling Technology

Some vendors reduced the costs to make this technology available to all different sized businesses. Voice enabling can be applied to all processes and departments – from receiving to shipping and returns – for better inventory control and increased productivity. These systems have quick install times, require no IT or modifications to your WMS, don’t require extensive training and have a fast ROI – as quickly as four to six months. Do your due diligence though, because not all voice applications are created equal.

Data Mining

For the B2B or B2C companies, there was a time when customer relationships were defined with the personalization. However, now the market is evolving at a fast pace that has brought a lot of changes in the supply operation of a company and demand of a customer. Now everything has gone beyond the standard personalization for a customer in a more advanced format. The industries and manufacturers are now predicting and imposing products as per customer requirements and demands for future. Data mining has now made it possible for a customer to analyze and mine the data at a fast speed that was never seen before. This has allowed companies to see the insight to a customer demand in a much better way and then optimize their products accordingly.

Robot Automation

There are companies that are actually using the robot to check and re-stock their inventories. It can be in the form of a robot machine or a real robot that is based on the AI technology. It has the ability to change the system and integrate the perspective of taking out and fulfilling an order in a much better way. Robots are now used to do all the tasks in a less duration. They are performing higher frequency work providing more value and exception to the company by driving values in any business. They are used to pick out order and move them as per the facilities, cognitive learning system, sensors that allow them to understand the quality or the product and stock it, and the algorithm that guide the operation.

Reasons to Attend as a Delegate

Industry Users

  • Identify the global trends and best practice in DC Management
  • Understand effective strategies to optimise your DC to support your Supply Chains
  • Learn how technology is the disruptive force in DC
  • Leverage peer learning through successful case studies being presented
  • Network with industry leaders to identify growth opportunities

Warehouse Developers, 3PL, Service Providers

  • Identify the demand trends & customer expectations in the coming years
  • Learn how changing trends will impact your business
  • Understand what innovations will your customers require in the coming years
  • Devise strategies to prepare new products to maximise growth
  • Network and generate new business opportunities

Technology & Equipment Providers

  • Understand customer needs for better sales forecasting
  • Present your products to a captive pre-qualified audience
  • Initiate dialogue on how your product can help your customers increase efficiencies
  • Showcase your proven success stories to stake your claim to new opportunities
  • Generate new sales leads and network with existing customers

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