It is always suggestive that one needs to keep the operational costs in control and should try to innovate and find out ways and means to keep a check on the costs. For cutting cost and time in the operations of the distribution center, here are some of the best practices that can be followed so as to improve our efficiency to manage the warehouse as well as the distribution center without compromising on the quality of service delivery.
- Compliance programs: Setting up of a compliance program for the vendors is one of the most efficient and effective ways in order to manage the strategic relationship between all the stakeholders. When a compliance program is well designed, the outcomes include a reduction in product handling, improvement in the time of transporting the products which finally leads to much higher customer satisfaction. The product identification and tracking processes help in ensuring the visibility of movement and its seamless operations throughout the supply chain.
- Advance notifications: Establishing a feature of notifying advanced shipping would lead to much greater efficiency throughout the Distribution Centers. The electronically enabled Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN) would plan the labor in a more organized manner which would, in turn, lead to easier fulfillment order and transportation activities at a much lesser time which would also optimize the modes of transportation and this, in turn, would reduce the cost to a greater extent.
- Automatic Data Collection: Another great practice is to include the automatic data collection technology. This reduces the chance of human errors and products get recorded in the warehousing and Distribution Centers only by scanning the barcodes. This, in turn, requires much lesser time and is very efficient.
- Adapting New technologies: The newer technologies have invented the hands-free process of order selection like voice pick, wrist-mounted RF units etc which accelerates the process of fulfilling the orders. Future and smart technologies like Google Glass make the aspect of tracking a more intuitive process.
- The tier 1 Warehouse Management System: This should be used in order to enhance the efficiency of picking waves. This, in turn, would help in effective management of the manpower and labor.
- Recording all movements: It is very important to optimize at every step when it comes to recording the movement at the distribution center. The movements should always be recorded as transaction and any step that cannot be deduced as transaction should be eliminated from the movement recording process in order to fix the whole operation to a concrete and informative report. Also, superfluous steps should be eliminated and only those should be included that are absolutely necessary. This would reduce the chances of delay in the process and also would reduce unnecessary costs. The customer satisfaction would increase and thus the overall system would improve.
- Ongoing Cycle count: It is always a great option to practice the program of ongoing cycle count. This would help in increasing the accuracy of gauging the inventory with very fewer disruptions.
- Cross Docking: It is a great decision to use cross-docking. Even though the initial investment is high, but it would give efficient returns in its life saving a large amount of cost in the Distribution Centers.
Hence it can be said that improving the processes of the warehouse system by implementing innovative methods and newest technology would definitely reduce the cost required for the Distribution Centers.