Distribution center managers must look beyond cost as they struggle to meet rising customer expectations in the age of e-commerce. Instead, they should look to adopt modern tools like advance shipment notices, warehouse information systems, and optimized networks in their quest to maximize accuracy and efficiency. That's the conclusion of a new white paper, The ABCs of DCs, published by researchers at the University of Tennessee (UT).
"Logistics professionals who operate distribution centers are expected to improve customer responsiveness, decrease cost, and manage higher volumes every year," said Paul Dittmann, executive director of UT's Global Supply Chain Institute. "We found that the most efficient DCs found innovative ways to meet all three of these demands rather than suboptimizing one of the three."
The report identifies best practices for 11 key activities: receiving, picking/order fulfillment/shipping, lean warehousing, cross-docking, metrics and planning, warehouse information systems, warehouse layout and space optimization, warehouse network optimization, safety and security, people, and sustainability.
To compile the report, researchers at UT Knoxville's Haslam College of Business surveyed more than 200 retailers, manufacturers, and third-party logistics service providers (3PLs), and interviewed industry experts from study sponsor Kenco, an integrated logistics solutions provider based in Chattanooga, Tenn.
You can download the full report for free at http://info.kencogroup.com/utk-best-practices-in-warehousing-white-paper-2015.