Ten Tips for DC Labor Management
(Boonton, NJ, July 10, 2009) Labor generally makes up 60 to 65 percent of the total cost of back end order fulfillment. While hourly labor rates have increased 10 to 15 percent in the past five years, overall DC productivity has remained flat according to Curt Barry, president of consulting firm F. Curtis Barry & Company. And that means the cost per unit worked has increased.
In an article in the July issue of industry newsletter Distribution Center Management, Barry offers 10 tips on how to effectively manage labor to help reduce some of those costs. For example, Barry advises setting productivity goals both by department and by individual. Sure, you know that benchmarking against other companies is important, but the most important benchmark exercise is to measure your production against yourself, seasonally, by month and week.
"Increase the 'height of the bar' over time and you'll generally see overall productivity increase," Barry writes. "The most difficult part is getting accurate data; as the old axiom says, you can't improve something you haven't measured."
And don't forget that streamlining labor functions is not a one-time activity. Barry recommends that you set up a continual improvement process - a set of activities designed to bring gradual, but steady improvement through constant review - to reduce and simplify the steps and number of times you touch a product.
To read the full article, "Ten tips to manage your DC labor more effectively," visit http://www.DistributionGroup.com/featured_articles.php.
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.