Research Paper - Unlocking Hidden Cost in the Distribution Center
The “Unlocking Hidden Cost in the Distribution Center” research examines current views on distribution center trends and challenges from senior supply chain and distribution center managers within the UK, France, Germany and Northern America. With many businesses still feeling the effects of the recession, facing increased competition and being forced to operate on smaller and smaller profit margins, distribution managers are increasingly tasked with the seemingly impossible job of finding cost savings from existing operations. To do this, managers are learning that they have to leave no stone unturned in order to effectively evaluate current processes and technology to help identify areas for efficiency improvements.
Key Findings From The Intermec Research Are:
- Managers are seeking to improve operational efficiency by gaining back mere seconds from each workflow to improve the overall time and cost savings. Having workers take fewer steps over the course of a day, eliminating battery changes mid-shift or using one device for multiple purposes are all areas managers identified as key components to increase efficiency. It is also clear that technology investment will impact productivity when deployed effectively.
- Picking accuracy is of growing importance to managers as visibility increases over the cost to the business through measures such as The Perfect Order Index. Managers believe mis-picks to be an ongoing issue within the workplace and one that could be avoided through new technology and processes.
- Trends such as ‘reverse logistics’ are growing in popularity as businesses look to manage returned goods within the supply chain as quickly as possible to reduce the impact on the bottom line. And along with this, managers are adopting ‘Hardware as a Service’ models to ease the burden of peak periods without significant capital expenditure. Adoption of RFID and Voice technology is steadily growing, with the US and Germany quicker on adoption in both instances.