Warehouse Operations Review

A typical warehouse will have six different types of storage, five different processes, four different types of MHE, and 20 opinions on how to make it all go together.

Challenges

The warehouse manager and his team are constantly faced with the need to do more with less, to be able to accommodate rapid changes in workload, to manage an evolving range of products and to continually satisfy customer demand. Warehouses are fast paced and have a level of unpredictability that keeps their managers and supervisors constantly on their toes, often at the expense of spending time working on the way the warehouse works. Often, suboptimal practices become a grudgingly accepted norm.

Opportunities

Just like a stocktake gives a business the opportunity to uncover and correct inventory inaccuracies and set a new baseline, a warehouse operational review provides warehouse managers with the opportunity to identify and improve suboptimal warehouse practices and establish a new efficiency benchmark. A fresh set of eyes and a well-established review methodology will quickly pinpoint the most significant opportunities in:

  • Product storage and retrieval labour efficiency
  • Pick face and bulk storage content and locations
  • Operator capability and capacity
  • Processes that add no value to the customer yet cost money to perform
  • MHE suitability and capacity
  • Data availability and accuracy
Approach

GRA takes a hands-on, practical approach to warehouse operations review. We prefer to walk the process path for inbound, put-away, replenishment, pick pack and outbound operations. We take the time to understand how the product range and customer needs define the processes, how systems and data support the daily activities and how people are supported to do their work best. We find the “pain” points. We can use transactional and product data to analyse throughput and storage requirements and inform us of layout and flow opportunities. Through a warehouse review we would consider:

  • Receipt to put-away and pick to despatch flow paths
  • Pick face and bulk storage sizing
  • Layout (stock location) to minimise travel
  • Size, volume and value add requirements
  • ERP/WMS/TMS functionality
  • Current and potential metrics, performance reporting and continuous improvement
Outcomes

The following are outcomes of this approach:

  • A considered review of current practices and performance improvement opportunities (including a outline roadmap of how to get there)
  • Suggestions for system improvements
  • An overview of workforce capability and skill gaps/risks
  • Suggestions for relevant performance measures
Benefits

The benefits of this approach include:

  • An independent and experienced view of warehouse practices and systems
  • Day 1 improvement opportunities that will reduce cost and improve productivity 
  • A clear view of how the warehouse operates and clarity of what can be done in the short and medium term to increase performance
  • Improved operational efficiency that follows improved data accuracy
  • Typically, we would see a reduction in direct labour hours of 5-10 % – often through reduced overtime effort

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Testimonials

“GRA worked closely with our team to design, develop and deliver an end to end supply chain transformation. This involved implementing a demand-led supply chain that today drives a disciplined, integrated and effective S&OP process. Culturally, our organisation with help from GRA has significantly increased its awareness and appreciation for supply chain decision-making. The above has allowed us to improve our service levels & customer experience albeit whilst reducing inventory and supply chain operating expense.”

– Zel Medak , Regional Business Director (ANZ), Allnex

Typical results

  • 20-40% inventory investment reduction
  • increased service levels ranging up to 99.9%
  • 10%-15% reduction in supply chain operating costs
  • 5%-20% spend management savings
  • the ability to fund business initiatives from operating cash flow (OCF) improvements
  • improved return on capital employed (ROCE)
  • a minimum 3:1 ROI (10:1 to 30:1 typical)