Distribution Center (DC) Operations are continually under stress to reduce costs and improve throughput. DC operations have correctly received more visibility (and scrutiny) as a key part of an organization's supply chain. Whether this is a change in order profiles, smaller, more frequent orders, or due to a slippage in metrics or a budget variance, DC managers must be prepared to address this increased level of visibility and accountability. Progressive DC managers are rethinking and retooling their operations to excel at customer service requirements while identifying new opportunities to reduce their own operating costs. Their ultimate challenge, however, is to convert marketplace demands into competitive (and profitable) differentiators for their companies. But how?
Surprisingly, the solution for many DC managers may not be tethered to new analytical software tools, disruptive warehouse configurations or expensive automation systems. It often can be found by creating and studying the detailed documentation "” the maps and metrics "” of each process in each functional area within the DC operation.
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