The Clean Socks Experiment or The Four Elements of Warehouse Optimization
Laundering socks provides insights into warehouse processes on the road to highly competitive warehouse management.
(Boonton, NJ, March 16, 2012) Within a company, the warehouse typically plays the role of the service provider, while other departments such as sales or purchasing are its clients who decide what the warehouse should do. If we could change the requirements imposed by others, then we could achieve major improvements in the distribution center.
The only way to do this says Jeroen P. van den Berg in his new book Highly Competitive Warehouse Management is to align the actions and decisions of all parties with the overall objectives of the company or the supply chain.
Van den Berg notes that most departments consider their own interests first when doing business. These interests may conflict with the interests of the company as a whole. For example, the objective of the sales department is to achieve high sales volumes. At first sight this objective seems logical. However, a sales department with a strong drive to achieve sales volumes is likely to promise special conditions to win orders. These conditions can easily lead to substantial handling requirements or exceptional peak volumes, which ultimately burden the distribution center and make the sales volume highly unprofitable.
We encounter similar effects when the production department wants to run excessively long production batches or the purchasing department wants to buy from a cheap (yet unreliable) supplier. If the distribution center merely copes with the outcomes of these poor decisions, or ironically becomes highly efficient in dealing with these issues, then the inefficiencies will never be resolved. As such, the distribution center has the unique advantage of being able to view the effects of departmental behavior. By making the implications transparent, the distribution center can help to align the various departments in accordance with company objectives.
But doing this requires a new kind of creative thinking. Thus, the Clean Socks Experiment was born.
"I've used this example in my teaching for years," says van den Berg, "and it always helps people see new ways of looking at the distribution center and new ways to collaborate."
To learn more about the Clean Socks experiment, read the white paper, The Clean Socks Experiment or The Four Elements of Warehouse Optimization visit http://www.DistributionGroup.com/
About the Author
Dr. Jeroen P. van den Berg is a well-known expert in warehouse management. In his work as a consultant, author, teacher, speaker and researcher, he challenges people to see the big picture and overcome the obstacles that prevent progress.
He has a unique talent for giving structure to complex issues so that they become easy to understand.
Dr. van den Berg earned a Ph.D. from the University of Twente in The Netherlands with his thesis Planning and Control of Warehousing Systems. He holds a master's degree in Applied Mathematics from the same university.
Title: Highly Competitive Warehouse Management
Author: Jeroen P. van den Berg
Publisher: Distribution Group
Pub Date: January 19, 2012
For review copies, phone (973) 265-2300 ext. 107 To schedule author interviews, email mjdewitt@DistributionGroup.com
Visit our website at http://www.DistributionGroup.com/
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About the Distribution Group
For more than 40 years, Distribution Group publications have helped distribution center and warehouse managers increase productivity, cut costs, and meet increasing customer demands. Distribution Group publishes Distribution Center Management newsletter, books and reports, and a free e-newsletter.