How to Improve Your Warehousing and Logistics Techniques

Jan 14, 2012 2:30 AM  By

Proper warehousing and logistics techniques can lead to achieving your company goals. But it requires a fine-tuned combination of strategic actions, organizational capabilities, and enabling technologies.

A new study by the Aberdeen Group – titled “Fulfillment Excellence and Dynamic Warehousing Come of Age” – can help you fill in the answers to achieve your goals. Here are four areas to consider that may enhance your warehousing and logistics techniques according to the best-in-class PACE model.

Pressures: Need to manage multiple sales/logistics channels. Consider using overlooked resources.

Actions: Better integrate order and operating delivery flows. Improve throughout through systems or automation. Improve labor efficiency and workforce productivity by reassessing management software.

Capabilities: Track warehouse transactions to specific employees. Central direction of processes. Cross docking, distribution center bypass, transloading, or flowthrough without a putaway step. Advanced pick methodologies like batch, zone, put, put to light, or cluster picking. Labor/task management. Switch employees between functions. Dynamic real time order dispatch.

Enablers: Confirm transactions with automatic data capture (i.e. barcoding, speech, RFID). Confirm the location of put-away goods in real time. Direct-order picking with mobile devices. Track inventory attributes such as lot numbers, serial numbers, size, style, and color in real time. Commercially developed warehouse management software. Labor management software. Conveyor-based picking systems. Pick-to-light and put-to-light systems.

Jim Tierney (jim.tierney@penton.com) is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.