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Inefficient Practices Common in Warehouses

Distribution Center managers estimate that each worker loses an average of 15 minutes of productivity per shift because of inefficient processes.

(Boonton, NJ, March 22, 2013) — Distribution center managers find themselves under ever increasing pressure to slash costs and boost margins — yet many haven't taken any kind of formal approach to ferreting out savings.

That's according to research by Intermec. The technology company surveyed 250 distribution managers and found that inefficiencies are a serious problem. For instance, managers estimated that each worker loses an average of 15 minutes of productivity per shift because of inefficient processes. That may not sound like much, but over the course of a year, it adds up to more than 60 hours of wasted time. Multiply that across a 50-worker DC, and the loss tops 3,000 hours a year.

Shaving even a few seconds can yield big results — and sometimes these savings can be found without big investments in new technology. Travel times are one big time-waster that can often be easily fixed, Stubbs says.

Taking a hard look at your DC layout can reveal valuable seconds of redundant travel time for pickers and other employees. Other second-savers can include quicker label printing, faster barcode label scanning, and eliminating mid-shift battery changes for forklifts.

Additional tips for tackling time wasters appears in the March issue of Distribution Center Management.

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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.

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