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Warehouse Cost Cutting from Color Coding to Pedometers

A team of warehouse experts shares 16 creative strategies for cutting costs in the distribution center and warehouse.

(Boonton, NJ, July 14, 2011) — The Warehousing Education and Research Council convened a panel of DC experts at its 34th annual conference and asked for their best money-saving ideas. Their recommendations fell into three broad categories: space/inventory, equipment/systems, and labor.

The July issue of Distribution Center Management included some of their best advice, including the following:

  • At Smart & Final's DC, workers were making mistakes when they shifted from the SKU-picking section to the case-picking area. To improve accuracy, the company painted the beams in each area — purple in the SKU-picking area, pink for case-picking.
  • To reduce equipment costs, Jackson Family Wines has begun leasing some equipment. The rationale: After five years, equipment often breaks down or must be replaced by newer equipment, so it's cheaper to lease for a few years rather than paying to repair and replace owned equipment.
  • Have your pickers wear pedometers to learn how much they're walking. If they're putting in 10 miles a shift, you likely can find more efficient ways to operate.

13 additional ideas are covered in the July 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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