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With budgets getting tighter and executives being more methodical in their investment and allocation of funds for improvement projects, many organizations are taking a closer look at supply chain operations to identify strategic drivers that can have immediate impact. In order to shed some light on these actions, Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE:HHS), announces the release of the latest supply chain report, "Five Key Steps to Optimizing Warehouse Management." The focus of the report is around the adoption of warehouse management systems (WMS) and peripheral applications and examines how successful companies have leveraged this technology to achieve superior performance.
Surveying more than 200 respondents, Aberdeen found that the top pressure pushing businesses to take action around the adoption of WMS technology is the need to support increased sales without increasing staffing or space.
"The pressure mounting on today's warehouse managers isn't that different than yesterday, but the speed at which change is occurring is increasing and the time to adjust to those changes is shrinking," said Brad Wyland, senior research analyst, Aberdeen. "By automating many of the manual procedures necessary to process and distribute activities throughout the warehouse, today's warehouse managers can focus their labor force on improving operations and managing exceptions, versus spending countless hours managing paper trails." When examining Best-in-Class companies--those who have outperformed their peers in key performance areas--the report notes that they are:
1. Almost 4 times as likely as Laggards to measure and post performance data daily or in real-time for improved decision making.
2. Over 2 times as likely as Laggards to process warehouse activities (receiving, put-away, replenishment, etc.) without paper.
3. Roughly 2 times as likely as Laggards to utilize a WMS for managing warehouse processes.
The Best-in-Class companies are utilizing key performance measurements to ensure the flow of product in and out of the warehouse and maintaining service levels with customers while driving down operation costs. In an effort to utilize performance data to track progress, many align with and achieve high-marks around key Aberdeen performance metrics including, the percent of lines across all orders which can be filled completely; the percent of orders which arrive at the customer on-time; the percent of orders which are picked accurately; the year-over-year trend in warehouse labor costs; and the year-over-year trend in customer order turnaround time.
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