Archive for Warehousing – Page 2

ARC’s Supply Chain Predictions for 2015: Hits and Misses

At the beginning of the year the ARC supply chain team made supply chain predictions for 2015. This article circles back and reports on how we did. Very often any predictions you can make for a one year period are not about a brand new thing that will occur, the prediction is really part of a larger megatrend that has not only been going on for some time but will also continue for many years […]

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Global Warehouse Investment Driven by Secular Trends

Earlier this month, I published a Logistics Viewpoints article discussing the prevalent factors affecting the global WMS market. I mentioned that the research process leading to the publication of ARC’s WMS Global Market Research Study includes interviews with executives from numerous WMS software companies. However, the interviews are only one part of the data gathering process. We also utilize trends from our many years conducting this research and complementary ARC research such as our Warehouse […]

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“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” Invested in Warehouse Automation

I wish that I had access to investing in warehouse automation companies. I wish they were publicly traded. Then I could’ve made some hefty gains on those investments. I think many private equity executives, aware of what they missed, are thinking, “Ah, I should’ve invested in X or Y warehouse automation company when I had the chance.” And I’ll just about guarantee that some distribution operations executives must have used “would’ve, could’ve and should’ve” in […]

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Hiring Effective Temp Workers for the Warehouse

I heard an interesting speech by the director of logistics at a consumer goods company at the S&OP Innovation Summit. Like many companies, this company has highly-seasonal demand. To meet this demand at the warehouse, the company relies extensively on temporary workers. This is a story of how this warehouse went from a highly ineffective process for sourcing temporary labor to a highly-productive process. Before the company improved its hiring process, it had turnover of […]

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A Revolution is Coming to the Spare Parts Warehouse

Inventory management is very difficult in a spare parts warehouse. For example, if you are a car or truck manufacturer, your warehouse network needs to carry spare parts for a vehicle you might have stopped making decades ago. Further, your network of dealers and repair shops don’t want to wait for spare parts; industry standard is to provide them with next day delivery of requested parts. What this means is that a spare parts warehouse […]

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Kiva Systems Acquired at a Very Steep Price!

Amazon.com’s acquisition of Kiva Systems keeps coming up in my conversations with industry peers and colleagues. Kiva is a provider of advanced robotic material handling systems — or looked at in an alternative way, the company brought to market much more intelligent Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) than we had seen before. Adrian wrote about the acquisition shortly after it occurred. Now I’d like to add my two cents. Back in 2009, I wrote a Strategic […]

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Guest Commentary: Cultural Transformation is at the Core of Continuous Improvement in Warehousing and Distribution

Today, more than ever before, companies are looking for ways to implement Lean manufacturing concepts into their distribution and warehousing network as a way to control costs and improve operational performance. This research often leads to the purchase of new technology or equipment. But while investment in these tools might create incremental savings, there’s a far more effective resource that’s often overlooked: employees. The successful implementation of Lean in a warehouse setting truly begins with […]

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Guest Commentary: How Flexible Distribution Has Supported Overstock.com’s Rapid Growth

I think one of the toughest tests for a WMS implementation team is supporting a high growth retail customer through its busy season, which is what we did with Overstock.com during the December busy season in 2002 and 2003. In 2002 Overstock.com had annual revenues of $92 million. By 2010 the company had grown to $1.1 billion. Although Overstock.com’s growth has dramatically changed its product mix and distribution processes, it is still running the same […]

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Guest Commentary: Transportation and Mobility – On the Truck, in the Warehouse, and with the Workforce

Supply chain operators put food on their tables every night by considering enhancements in efficiency. So when the word “transportation” comes up in a meeting, most people think first about planes, boats, trains, trucks, deliveries and packages. However, the fact is that efficient transportation is at the heart of every supply chain process – not only on a delivery route, but also in the warehouse and in the store. And that’s the reason mobile technology […]

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Creating Waves of Work in the Warehouse (Part 2)

When it comes to supply chain management, anytime you can take discrete pieces of work and group them together intelligently, you have the opportunity to optimize. The more time you have, and the more discrete pieces of work you can group together, the larger the potential savings from optimization.  I recently wrote about waving in the warehouse. Wave management is based on intelligently grouping together a batch of warehouse activities for later release to the […]

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