Zebra - March 2015 (MMH)

"Plans to Improve Warehouse Efficiencies"

The pressure to perform is on, and warehouses/ DCs around the globe are playing pivotal roles in companies’ ability to live up to and/or exceed customer and stakeholder expectations in today’s competitive business environment. Being compliant and operating efficiently in the omni-channel retail environment, for example, requires a level of precision and attention to detail that allows shippers to respond to a wide variety of ordering, product mix, and shipping variations. Fulfilling all orders correctly the first time, and backing up that activity with superior customer service, have become critical goals for shippers that want to stand above the crowd in their respective industries.

To achieve those and other goals, companies need the right mix of warehouse location/ space, technology, and human support. And while the basic fundamentals of product distribution haven’t changed much over the last two decades, with companies still relying on their warehouses to serve as storage/staging and trucks for deliveries, an increasing number of shippers are examining the gaps in their warehouse operations and finding ways to better utilize space, technology, and optimization tools to work smarter, better, and faster.

With no end in sight to the rise in customer expectations, the need for optimized, efficient distribution centers will only increase exponentially. This, in turn, will exacerbate the need for solid inventory management techniques, better supply chain visibility, and a more focused approach on exactly how products get from Point A to Point B. As one retail continuous improvement manager from the retail sector commented in a recent study conducted for Zebra Technologies Corporation by Peerless Research Group (PRG) on behalf of Modern Materials Handling, “We continually look at all processes within the DC to see where improvements need to happen.”

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