Archive for labor management systems

Measuring the Changing Technology Requirements in Today’s Warehouse

Earlier this month I wrote an article about the changing warehouse order profile. That article presented data and discussed findings from ARC Advisory Group’s warehouse practitioner survey conducted in partnership with DC Velocity earlier this year. The overarching theme of the findings is that the ongoing transformation in the fulfillment environment is quickly shifting order profiles and warehouse operations. Adaptability and responsiveness are becoming more important and direct-to-consumer fulfillment is expected to increase extensively, as is the […]

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Achieving Fast Payback from Warehouse Optimization

I had the pleasure of attending Manhattan Associates’ user conference last month. This conference included a number of presentations by Manhattan’s customers, partners, and employees. I considered the presentation by Howard Turner to be highly informative and full of practical insights that Logistics Viewpoints readers would find interesting and applicable to their own business. Howard and others at his company, a tier 1 automotive parts supplier (“Tier 1 Auto”), made a decision to move forward […]

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Rating 3PLs on their IT Capabilities

My colleague Clint Reiser and I recently interviewed twelve logisticians at manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies ranging in size from very large to very small. Our focus was on four key dimensions that should logically correlate with how well a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider is able to perform. Those dimensions include a 3PL’s IT capabilities, their ability to execute, their ability to drive continuous improvement, and their ability to bring innovative solutions to the […]

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Taking Labor Management Systems (LMS) to a New Level

Last year, I wrote about how DSC Logistics implemented a labor management system (LMS) and how it helped the company improve labor productivity at its warehouses. Regular readers of Logistics Viewpoints know that I am a big fan of LMS because of its robust ROI. DSC Logistics got a 20 percent improvement in warehouse labor productivity, which is not uncommon. But at RedPrairie’s RedShift 2011 User Conference (DSC uses RedPrairie’s LMS solution), DSC spoke about […]

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Guest Commentary: Labor Optimization in the New World

As the speed and agility of supply chains evolves, the way in which labor resources are optimized also needs to evolve in order to keep pace with the changing buying behaviors of consumers. When retailers add the ability to change where and how products are fulfilled, they also need the ability to flex resources up or down to ensure they have the right number of people to support the real-time changes taking place at the […]

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Labor Standards in the Warehouse (Part 6): Are Time Studies or Predetermined Time Systems Better?

(Editor’s Note: This is the final part of a series on warehouse labor standards. Click here to read Parts 1-5). The most granular labor standards are based on time studies or predetermined time systems (PTS). MSD and MOST, in turn, are the two most prevalent methodologies used to develop PTS time standards for the warehouse.  I talked to subject matter experts at several consulting and software organizations active in this area (enVista, Kurt Salmon Associates, Manhattan […]

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Warehousing Labor Standards Basics (Part 1)

Back in July, I wrote a posting about the great results that DSC Logistics received after implementing a Labor Management System (LMS) in its warehouses. In one section I wrote that DSC “used a predetermined time system, Master Standard Data, as its methodology.” I knew at the time that some readers would not understand that reference, but I didn’t have the time or space to explain. So today will be the first of several postings […]

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Revisiting the “Best-of-Breed vs. ERP” Debate in WMS

I hate multi-tasking.  Give me one task at a time, and sufficient time to accomplish it, and I’m fairly happy.  But that rarely happens.  Even so, my work life has to be easier than a warehouse manager’s.  Their main job, of course, is to make sure that customer orders are fulfilled accurately and on-time every day.  This alone is  more than a full time job.  But consider all the other things they are often called […]

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Achieving Near-Perfect Goal Setting in Logistics

I came across a working paper recently from the Harvard Business School called “Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting.”  Although hundreds of studies have shown that setting specific, challenging goals can drive behavior and boost performance in powerful ways, the authors of this paper argue that goal setting has been “over prescribed”.  In their words, “goal setting has powerful and predictable side effects…and should be prescribed selectively, presented with a […]

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A “Show Me the Value First, Pay Later” Way to Implement a Labor Management System

Last month, HighJump issued a press release that really caught my eye.  It wasn’t so much the headline (“HighJump Software Offers Promotion Including Complementary ROI Assessment for Its Labor Management System”), but a sentence buried deep in the press release:  “This special offer for HighJump Labor Advantage allows companies with constrained capital budgets to realize the benefits of a labor management system before paying for the license fee.”  The end of the sentence was not […]

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