Executive Briefings

Collaboration and Best Practices Set the Scene for Warehouse Management in 2012

Analyst's Insight: Every day in the trade press and across our laptops, we read about infrastructure weaknesses, transportation shortages, closing businesses, unemployment rates and all the other ills associated with the dreaded "R" word - recession. We know from our members how challenging these past few years have been, and we support and admire the collaboration and focus on best practices that are clearly evident and becoming more and more important in logistics. - Michael Mikitka, CEO, Warehousing Education and Research Council

Collaboration: In a recent survey of WERC members, we asked if they were engaging in collaborative techniques in their supply chain, and 47 percent indicated that they were. This is a dramatic increase over the 30 percent who responded "yes" in the similar survey in 2005. Given the increasing complexity of the supply chain, this is a strong indicator of future success.

Collaborative relationships are being pursued on all levels: internally across business units, externally with suppliers, transportation providers and logistics services providers. And within those relationships, collaboration is being viewed from a vision statement to forecasts to planning to performance indicators to delivery. Continuous improvement becomes the rallying cry and trust is the needed base.

None of us is in the game by ourselves and whether we adopt a "standardized" method of collaboration or craft our very own, a willingness to listen, share, cooperate and manage can only lead to better relationships and increased productivity. As stated by the experts, collaboration becomes a "mindset" that creates innovation and provides benefits across the supply chain.

Best Practices: As the leader in education and research for the warehouse and logistics management field, WERC focuses on advancing the art and science of warehousing/logistics and driving the warehouse profession to new levels. In this role, WERC is committed to spreading the word about the hard work and dedicated people who keep the distribution system running smoothly, efficiently and economically. Developing a set of standards and tools for grading warehouse operations is a part of this effort to continue to support our members and the industry.

The WERC Warehouse Certification Program is the industry's first & only best-practice certification. It certifies an individual warehouse facility's capabilities and its ability to perform core warehousing functions. The WERC Certification program offers a qualitative review that focuses on how work is done. In other words, it considers how processes are being performed.

In the past year, 17 individual facilities have achieved WERC certification - an outstanding tribute to the industry's commitment to best practices.

The advantages of WERC's qualitative approach are:

• Scoring against a 5-point scale allows you to know exactly how you stack up against the suggested industry standards for warehousing

• Benchmarks are concrete, practical and actionable - you can clearly understand steps for improvement

• The approach provides a holistic, comprehensive review

• The audit is based on warehousing industry standards vetted by industry pros

                                          The Outlook

Expect to read and hear more about both collaboration and the pursuit of best practices in 2012. While we can have little control - or even impact on many of the troublesome issues facing the industry, we can make the world of logistics stronger, more flexible and more responsive through individual and collective efforts.


Keywords: Transportation Management, All Technology, Education & Professional Development, Quality & Metrics, HR & Labor Management, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, WERC Warehouse Certification Program, Warehousing Profession, Warehousing/Logistics

Collaboration: In a recent survey of WERC members, we asked if they were engaging in collaborative techniques in their supply chain, and 47 percent indicated that they were. This is a dramatic increase over the 30 percent who responded "yes" in the similar survey in 2005. Given the increasing complexity of the supply chain, this is a strong indicator of future success.

Collaborative relationships are being pursued on all levels: internally across business units, externally with suppliers, transportation providers and logistics services providers. And within those relationships, collaboration is being viewed from a vision statement to forecasts to planning to performance indicators to delivery. Continuous improvement becomes the rallying cry and trust is the needed base.

None of us is in the game by ourselves and whether we adopt a "standardized" method of collaboration or craft our very own, a willingness to listen, share, cooperate and manage can only lead to better relationships and increased productivity. As stated by the experts, collaboration becomes a "mindset" that creates innovation and provides benefits across the supply chain.

Best Practices: As the leader in education and research for the warehouse and logistics management field, WERC focuses on advancing the art and science of warehousing/logistics and driving the warehouse profession to new levels. In this role, WERC is committed to spreading the word about the hard work and dedicated people who keep the distribution system running smoothly, efficiently and economically. Developing a set of standards and tools for grading warehouse operations is a part of this effort to continue to support our members and the industry.

The WERC Warehouse Certification Program is the industry's first & only best-practice certification. It certifies an individual warehouse facility's capabilities and its ability to perform core warehousing functions. The WERC Certification program offers a qualitative review that focuses on how work is done. In other words, it considers how processes are being performed.

In the past year, 17 individual facilities have achieved WERC certification - an outstanding tribute to the industry's commitment to best practices.

The advantages of WERC's qualitative approach are:

• Scoring against a 5-point scale allows you to know exactly how you stack up against the suggested industry standards for warehousing

• Benchmarks are concrete, practical and actionable - you can clearly understand steps for improvement

• The approach provides a holistic, comprehensive review

• The audit is based on warehousing industry standards vetted by industry pros

                                          The Outlook

Expect to read and hear more about both collaboration and the pursuit of best practices in 2012. While we can have little control - or even impact on many of the troublesome issues facing the industry, we can make the world of logistics stronger, more flexible and more responsive through individual and collective efforts.


Keywords: Transportation Management, All Technology, Education & Professional Development, Quality & Metrics, HR & Labor Management, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, WERC Warehouse Certification Program, Warehousing Profession, Warehousing/Logistics