Capacity, Flexibility and Efficiency - The Future of Warehousing

Over the last 25 years since the birth of the internet warehousing has changed from being the over-spill area from over-ordered raw materials or overproduced finished goods to being the very heart of supply chain. The age of the giant retailers with complex store networks is changing towards e-commerce retailers resulting in significant shifts in sourcing global products. The thinking regarding warehouses is changing dramatically. 

Same Day, More Choice and Lower Pricing

Customers demand same day delivery and massive choice ranges. Most of all, pricing determines whether you are today’s favourite or yesterday’s struggling alternative. Warehouses, if you can even call them that these days, have become the centre of flexibility, the enabler of variety and the hot point to whether your network can meet the increasing customer service requirements. To be late with a vehicle is now totally unacceptable. Delivering the wrong or broken items can result in severe penalties and in the worst case loss of the contract. 

Guardians and Enablers

Warehouses are the guardians of inventory, the enablers of cost effective delivery, the consolidator of multiple geographical sources, the linkage point amongst shared networks, the safety that ensures the risk of failure is minimised. Across many industries the shapes and designs of warehouses differ enormously. Some are temperature controlled, some are slow moving, others are massive SKU consolidation points with variations of demand. Some are for large items, some for nuts and bolts others for generic cases and pallets. No matter what the combination they all have common considerations, just different operational strategies and set-ups.

What Warehouses Need to Consider:

  • Space and height utilisation – sometimes known as cube
  • Capacity management – understanding breaking points, seasonal demand fluctuations or increasing network needs
  • Picking and loading solutions – pick face designs, loading scheduling, work-flow studies
  • Inventory planning and demand planning 
  • Replenishment strategies
  • Reverse logistics – handling complicated returns processes
  • Warehouse costing and picking productivity 
  • Automation and mechanisation – goods to man, sortation systems, conveyoring, gravity fed racking, Automatic storage and retrieval, robotics, pallet stacking, automatic vehicle load and unload
  • MHE planning and sourcing
  • Health and safety 
  • Labour and site costing
  • KPI and performance management 
  • Outsourcing assessments
  • Infrastructure, energy and lighting reviews
  • Team and culture assessments – supervisor capability assessments
  • Warehouse management system tenders and implementations

Creating Capacity, Flexibility, and Efficiency

WBS Group have qualified and experienced teams of individuals who can help you with all of these aspects with extras such as analytical modelling, warehouse design including CAD capability, cost to serve and cube assessments.

WBS have not only designed warehouses we have built them and managed them throughout their life cycle.  Our experiences range from customer run warehouses to supporting third party logistics firms.  We have worked from design of pick faces to re-designing and designing automated and mechanised facilities. We offer in-depth system knowledge to help you decide or change your existing warehouse and order management systems. 

To see if there a good fit between WBS Group and yourselves, start with a FREE no obligation consultation today.

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