Investing in Technology and Equipment, Retaining Workers Are Among the Top Challenges for Distribution Center Management in 2011
Industry experts discuss what the New Year holds for distribution center and warehouse management in this timely article from Distribution Center Management newsletter.
(Boonton, NJ, December 28, 2010) DC managers face another challenging year of tight budgets and demanding expectations.
That's according to the experts on Distribution Center Management newsletter's editorial advisory board. As part of the publication's annual Looking Ahead report, editor Jeff Ostrowski asked the board for its predictions on the tough issues facing managers and for advice on overcoming those obstacles.
- While the worst of the Great Recession seems to have passed, DC managers' jobs won't get any easier, says Fred Kimball, principal of Distribution Design. He expects another year of tight budgets, stingy hiring, and capital expenditures only when they're absolutely necessary.
- The squeeze won't be felt just inside the walls of the DC but also on the trucks lining your docks. "There's going to be a lot of competition for transportation," says Geoff Sisko, senior consultant with Jack Kuchta LLC. "The trucking industry is facing shortages, not only in drivers but in over-the-road tractors. A lot of equipment was sold off and exported and new equipment is expensive, so companies will be behind the curve in available equipment and manpower."
- Another issue facing DC managers is a potential exodus of workers who are simply worn out by two years of ever-leaner payrolls. Now that the economy is improving, workers will begin to vote with their feet. "People who were poorly treated during this economic downturn are looking for better options," says Frank Camean, president and CEO of the 4Sight Supply Chain Group. "Many had to take on additional responsibilities and increased workloads resulting from company layoffs, and many had to do so with no pay increase. We've witnessed companies lose some of their best people because they didn't pay attention to their employees in these difficult economic conditions."
For more insights and advice on overcoming these and additional obstacles see the full report, Investing in technology and equipment, retaining workers are among the top challenges for distribution center management in 2011 at the Distribution Group website, http://www.DistributionGroup.com/dcmtrends.pdf.
The report includes comments from Frank Camean, 4Sight Supply Chain Group; Fred Kimball, Distribution Design; Norm Saenz, TranSystems; Susan Rider, Rider & Associates; Mike Coronado, The Container Store; Geoff Sisko, Jack Kuchta LLC; Tom Tanel, CATTAN Services Group; and Jim Tompkins, Tompkins Associates.
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.