There is probably a higher level of public awareness about how the logistics industry works and its technology than ever before. Who hasn’t had at least a passing interest in how a nation plans to get over 300 million doses of a vaccine distributed in a manner of a few months?
How do you measure success in your warehouse? Every business has their own “dashboard” of KPIs (at least we ASSUME they do by now). Your KPIs could be as granular – and basic - as “Picks Per Hour”, “Receiving Wait Time”, “Packages Shipped” or “Fulfillment Rate”. Or they could be at a more macro level to measure “Inventory Turnover”, “Average Order Value” (or “Average Items per Order”) and “Forecast Accuracy” (along with basic tracking forecast elements).
Last week we continued our drill-down into the common challenges facing manufacturers and distribution businesses by focusing on Inventory (See “Four Inventory Management Challenges for 2020”). This week we’re going to dig down another level within the Inventory space by looking at it through the lens of the Six Sigma’s “Eight Forms of Waste”. Since we like to keep things to a short read of 5-7 minutes, we’ll focus on three of them today specifically in how they relate to the challenges of Inventory management.
Our last regular article of 2019 was about the major challenges we see coming in Manufacturing and Distribution, particularly in the food industry. This year we wanted to start with something that drills down a bit deeper into one of those challenges – Inventory Management. The good news on this topic is that most of the challenges you will have in 2020 are the same as the ones you were having in 2019. The bad news is that they are just getting harder is the speed and complexity of transportation and logistics continues to evolve, and there is one important new one.
Today we’ll cover FOUR challenges you need to be monitoring and solving for if you are not already doing so:
- Knowing Your Inventory
- Inefficient Processes
- Customer Demand
- The Coming Packaging Revolution
The Food & Beverage Industry is always one of the fastest-moving in regards to the changes that come every year in terms of consumer tastes, preferences, packaging, manufacturing, storage and transportation and more. For every familiar item that seems to have remain unchanged for generations (see “ice cream” or “eggs”), there are dozens of others ways it evolves visibly and invisibly and constantly creating new opportunities – and challenges. “Regenerative vertical farms” in the aquaponics industry, Plant-based substitutes for meat, but , coconut and oat-based dairy products and more are all creating challenges up and down the supply chain from the logistics supplying the manufacturers, the packaging, storage and even the marketing. In 2020, we expect to see some of these challenges create bigger obstacles than others. Which ones should you be paying attention to?
Like much of the warehouse and logistics industries, the cold storage aspect of it is growing rapidly as well in almost every major KPI. Driven by the continued growth of the frozen food industry, cold storage has been evolving and adopting many of the same technologies and process innovations as standard warehouses and is expected to grow about 3.4% in 2019. However, the fact that the room is required to be cold, means that there are a long list of other process adaptations, equipment, uniforms and other accessories that are required to run a cold storage facility and make it function for the purpose it was designed for.
Today we’ll review some of the basic features of a cold storage warehouse that set it apart from a more typical one.
Order fulfillment continues to become more efficient as warehouse automation technology evolves. Voice collection is one of the most recent technological advances to disrupt the order fulfillment status quo. Vocollect is a hands-free order fulfillment solution that tackles the problems traditionally encountered in complex order fulfillment to offer a simple, user-friendly solution. The result is a comprehensive lineup of organizational benefits across varying use case scenarios that increase profitability, employee retention, and customer satisfaction.
RFID has found its way into nearly every industry and every part of the supply chain. But common misperceptions about its extensibility continue to persist, as imaginations for its use have not kept pace with some of the capabilities and it's steadily decreasing the cost to implement. But as the cost and variety of tags get more diverse every day, so do the potential applications.
While techniques to maintain and track inventory under a roof are well-established and somewhat ubiquitous, outdoor storage still lags in performance as many businesses ignore some of the basic rules that they followed when setting up their warehouse. While the warehouse space might be packed with advanced scanning and conveyor equipment, high bay racks served by aisle pickers and perhaps even robots, outdoor areas tend to suffer from lack of attention to the same level of precision and order that is valued in the warehouse.
In this article, we will discuss outdoor storage by differentiating between simple bulk storage facilities and yard management facilities, which are used to store containers, trailers, and trucks.
As we’ve noted on multiple occasions in this blog, there are some big advantages that businesses are starting to discover about Voice Collection. While we have walked through a lot of the potential processes that can be improved and the “how to” of how it works, it is perfectly reasonable that many of our readers have asked “Does it really work like that?” or “Is it REALLY that easy?”