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4. Delivering

Warehousing and Distribution, the traditional logistics processes, include all physical handling of goods. They are capital intensive processes, requiring investments in buildings and trucks, - regardless if they are purchased or rented – and thus asset utilization is a primary objective. Experience has shown that in many cases operational improvements have saved a lot of money by making a new investment unnecessary. Today, warehouse and distribution processes are also challenged by the operational and regulatory requirements for increased transaction efficiency and visibility as well as product trace ability, especially in industries like aerospace & defence and food & beverages.

Warehouse Operations

Warehouse operations include receiving & put away, picking & loading, repackaging / kitting, warehouse equipment maintenance and damaged goods management. Appropriate operations can be a significant efficiency differentiating factor among competitors. Streamlined processes and appropriate IT systems help towards achieving decreased cost, less mistakes, smaller cycle times and better space utilization.

Key Business Issues

• How can we increase process efficiency? Is our warehouse layout and IT systems optimized to support this?
• How can we ease out space constraints? What kind of warehousing method / system / infrastructure should be used based on product characteristics?
• How do we increase employee productivity? Can we alter receiving / picking / loading patterns to stabilize work load?
• What are our shrinkage levels and how do we proceed with decreasing them?
• What kind of control should we have over warehouse operations – own the infrastructure, only operate it or none? To what extent should we use outsourcing?

Transportation Optimisation

Transportation optimization focuses on improving the utilization, leveraging and overall management of transportation resources, including company owned vehicles and third party carriers. Today companies have to face competitive pressures to decrease stocks, increase frequency of deliveries and improve response rates. These however, have a direct impact on transportation cost, an impact that has to be carefully analyzed and minimized.

Key Business Issues

• Do we have the optimum split among transportation modes (road, rail, ship,etc)? Is a modal shift possible to reduce cost while keeping operational constraints?
• How do we develop the best routing to decrease kilometres travelled?
• How do we increase truck utilization? Do we have a large number of small deliveries? Would it worth adding a consolidation point?
• How do we track vehicle running cost (maintenance, fuel, etc)?
• Should we have owned trucks or utilize third parties? How do we track carrier performance?

Radio Frequency Identification - RFID 

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that makes use of chips with antennas (tags) attached to objects. These chips can be read and by written by ‘readers’ from increasingly longer distances. The tags can be attached to individual products, boxes, pallets or containers which then can be identified individually. RFID has come as an answer to increasing pressures for supply chain visibility and product trace ability. With RFID you know at any time where each individual product is. Early adopters of the technology are the aerospace & defence industry – driven by the mandate by the US department of Defence – and the retailing industry – driven by the quest for higher product availability and the relevant Wal-Mart mandate.

 Key Business Issues 

• What RFID means for our business? Does it work for our products?
• What would be the expected return of an RFID initiative? What issues can it address?
• What are the critical considerations? How should we proceed?

More Featured Content

  • Contacts for Supply Chain Management Services
  • Shrinkage in Retailing - Identification & Reduction

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