• Miebach India

How can my warehouse turn orders around in an hour?

clockwork

You have newly opened a spare parts warehouse, which while servicing orders for your dealers, is also servicing orders for emergency off-road vehicles. You get both orders from the same warehouse, and serve them in the same cycle, though you attempt to dispatch the emergency orders on priority using express couriers.

The problem is, there is a world of difference between a dealer who expects his order to arrive in two days, and the emergency vehicle whose asset value is diminishing with every minute it spends waiting for the spare to arrive. Emergency or fast-turn around orders have to be dealt separately as compared to your regular deliveries, and should follow a shorter lead time. (Unless you are in a business where every order is fast turn-around, in which case you can follow the basic philosophy for all your orders.)

So how can we shorten the warehouse lead time or the order turn-around time? Continue reading

How to improve productivity in my warehouse?

The plight of managers at distribution centers with manpower intensive operations is no different from the farmer who had to carry his goat, wolf and a bag of cabbage in a rowboat across a swelling river .

In a geography where project viability calculations almost invariably work against automation due to manpower cost arbitrage, distribution center managers are in considerable trouble if they automate and doomed if they don’t. The solution to this seemingly paradoxical business problem is fairly simple – continually looking at ways to improve manpower productivity at distribution centers till such time partial / full automation begins to make business sense.

If you are asking where to start looking, may be this post will help. Continue reading

How to reduce the size of my warehouse?

‘This warehouse was designed to accommodate business growth for 5 years. It has been operational for 3 years, and I already see little space to walk. We have been hiring temporary godowns for the last 6 months, and it is a struggle to coordinate movements between the two locations’

This is something we hear from many perplexed logistics managers. Across India, many supply chains have gathered inventory, and are expanding into different warehouses in an ad-hoc manner. How is it that a space designed for 5 years becomes full in 3?
The answer (often) lies in the fact that when a warehouse is designed, it is designed assuming perfect systems. The forecasts will be accurate, supplies will be in-time, and warehouse operations will run with clock-work efficiency. Factors like product obsolesce and their piling inventory often escapes people’s mind, as do returns or damaged stocks.
But of course, there is merit in assuming efficiency at the time of design. An operation which is already designed with an inbuilt inefficiency will always retain an element of that inefficiency. What needs to be done is to ensure that steps are taken to bring in that efficiency. Continue reading
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