What data do you need to improve a distribution centre’s operations?

Many distribution centres collect a huge amount of data from their warehouse management systems, which can be overwhelming. Many people often wonder which data you should use to measure success, and how you find the data that matters.

Analysing the appropriate data identifies problem areas that need to be addressed to make a warehouse more successful. Here’s a guide to the data you should start to analyse.

Time from receiving to delivering

Most distribution centres have targets for the time taken between receiving orders and dispatching them. Some companies promise next-day delivery. Data concerning time needs to be collected so that the average time between receiving and dispatching orders can be calculated.

Ideally, the warehouse management system used should link to the courier tracking system. On-time deliveries are not just about items being dispatched quickly. Orders that are tracked all the way to the customer show whether couriers are keeping up with promised delivery schedules.

If all orders are not delivered on time, steps should be taken to improve the efficiency and productivity of the warehouse.

Time taken to store items

Another useful statistic is the time taken from receiving goods to when they are stored on shelves or racks. How many items are put away per hour, and can this time be improved?

Warehouse capacity

A warehouse that is struggling to find the capacity to store items needs reorganising, and a warehouse that is underutilised with empty space on the shelves is wasting resources. There are ways to address this. Increase the number of lines for sale, or become a fulfilment centre for a third party who does not want the cost of setting up their own distribution centre.

Damage

In a busy warehouse, especially one that handles fragile items, damage is inevitable. Goods can arrive damaged, and items can be accidentally dropped. It is important to identify the damage levels and address it if they are too high.

Accuracy

Order picking needs to be accurate. It is bad for customers to receive the wrong items or the wrong quantity. Data should be gathered on the number of customer returns due to inaccurate order picking. A quality warehouse management software system will prevent mistakes by directing pickers to exact item locations and checking the packers are parking the correct items.

Equipment failure

Distribution centres rely on their warehouse equipment to be reliable. Shelving and racks should easily hold heavy loads, and trolleys that are in heavy use every day should not break down.

In addition, IT equipment needs to keep running with no outages, and software that is bug-free should be used.

If equipment failures are at unacceptable levels, it is time to review the quality of equipment used. Distribution centres trust Steely Products for their warehouse equipment. We create strong and well-designed equipment made tubular steel, and we make sure that every item is built to last and reliable.

To find out more about our wide range of material handling and storage equipment, give us a call or use the form below to contact us at Steely Products.

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    Posted by Mark
    25th July 2021
    Retail & Warehousing

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