Top 10 Best Practices that You Can Implement in Your Distribution Center Tomorrow with No System Changes and Very Little Process Changes

Implementing best practices in your warehouse is the key in increasing the throughput and productivity. They are listed below. 1. Assign Ownership of Aisles to Operators So They Keep their Aisles Clean with Pride Managing the operator’s aisle pristine and in an orderly way is necessary to increase the picking efficiency in the warehouse. When operators are happy and proud of the work they do – they do even better. To make them proud of…

Case in Point: Real Insights from an IoT Pilot in a Distribution Center

It’s one thing to rave about the benefits that IoT will deliver to a distribution center, but it’s another to get a look at how it really adds value and provides actionable insights. Let’s take a look at one experience I had recently. Recently, I was at a prospect site for a pilot demonstrating our technology. Typically, we show up at the client site Monday morning and get things up and running in an hour….

The Power of Music in Supply Chain

Conventional wisdom dictates that a picture is worth a thousand words and stories are worth a thousand pictures. I believe that…and I use stories in my presentation regularly. Of course, picking the right story is critical to making the biggest impact. Sometimes, though, I have an audience that speaks a completely different language. How do you communicate to inspire then? I think the answer is music. My daughter has been singing since she was five,…

Leverage Gamification in Your Warehouse to Improve Worker Engagement

One of my customers, a bulk picking department manager, asked an intriguing question the other day: How can I keep my employees motivated and working hard? His organization had deployed our wearable devices a year or so ago, and I had called on him to check in and see how they were being used and how much savings they had achieved. He’d had much success, and we had helped this customer come a long way…

Weighing Build Versus Buy with Supply Chain Apps

Today, IT technology may be one of the biggest enablers of supply chain efficiency. Organizations, then, are aware that finding or creating the right capabilities is central to business success. When enterprises buy complicated IT infrastructure, whether it is hardware, software, systems or anything else associated with such infrastructure, they are faced with a major decision: whether to buy this thing from a vendor or build it themselves. It is important to make the correct…

Automation Smooths Out Seasonal Peaks & Valleys

It’s suprising but huge warehouses with several sophisticated systems are not immune from sending their warehouse operators home in the middle of the day due of lack of work. Planning is especially hard in peak holiday seasons. Often, it seems warehouse managers have no effective tools to accurately forecast labor demands based on outstanding orders waiting fulfillment. If you take a step back to see the historical evolution of the labor management systems, it all…

Voice Evolves the Efficiency of the Warehouse

The first time I was confronted with the idea of voice picking, I was intrigued. This was quite a long time ago, but when I saw the design spec I sat down with the consultant who was designing the system to learn more. I asked him, “Why the heck would a user want to talk to the computer.” His response: “Because functions executed using voice are much more efficient.” Clearly, technology evolves, and that’s a good…

Smart Machine Age Shifts the Future Workforce

Photo courtesy: Port of Atlanta Recently, I was invited to take a place on a Tech for Distribution Center (DC) panel during the annual Georgia Logistics Summit. We tackled some intriguing questions: During this time of technological change, what does the future work force look like? What is the most important quality to look for when hiring? Who will be best suited to carry the organization into the new smart machine age? The Center for Logistics…

Connectivity & IoT Create Greater Supply Chain Data Collection Options

Image courtesy: Amazon The Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won’t even sense it. It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room….

The Startup Phenomenon: How 3PLs Can Use it to Increase Value & Capture Market

It’s true that necessity is the mother of invention. Creativity, though, is the father, and knowledge is the midwife. As people, we are wired for survival. When we are in tough times, our creativity and persistent shine through. By staying focused and thinking creatively, we can come up with solutions and take advantage of each opportunity as it arises. I know that from experience. When I graduated from college as a mechanical engineer, I was…