Improving Distribution Center Productivity Without A Major Investment in Automation
Despite constrained budgets there are ways that distribution center and warehouse management can improve productivity without major investments in automation. Industry expert Charles Zosel points the way with a three point strategy. The keys are performance standards, labor reporting, and execution management.
(Boonton, NJ, December 10, 2009) Distribution operations in many companies are facing enormous pressure. With a sluggish economy and brutal price competition, most logistics organizations are being asked to achieve year-over-year cost reductions on an annual basis.
In addition, the last few years have seen very constrained budgets for major investments in new facilities and equipment.
The combination says Charles Zosel, vice president of TZA Consulting, means that DC managers must find ways to gain greater throughput from their existing facilities without major investments in automation.
In the December issue of Distribution Center Management newsletter, Zosel discusses how to do this. The key he says is a three-pronged approach:
- Engineering to determine the optimal operating methods and procedures and to develop appropriate performance standards.
- Labor reporting software to improve workforce planning and drive improved productivity through individual measurement of employees against fair, accurate standards, as well as other capabilities, such as workforce planning and tracking quality and costs.
- Execution management, to ensure that the potential gains from productivity improvement initiatives are realized during and after implementation. This is achieved through appropriate training of supervisors, operators, and management in the cultural, operational, and supervisory changes required for a successful productivity program.
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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.