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7 Reasons why your warehouse is destroying your profitability and market share. And what YOU can do about it!!!

Webcast to focus on improving the performance of your warehouse operations.

Burbank, CA Oct 26 ---Total Logistics Solutions, Inc., a leading supply chain and logistics consulting firm, announced today its founder will lead a webcast to assist organizations with improving their warehouse operations. The webcast, "7 Reasons why your warehouse is destroying your profitability and market share. And what YOU can do about it!" will be held Nov.11, 2009, at 1:00 pm ET.

For distributors the warehouse has always been a crucial part of their operations. Inaccurate inventory, shipping problems and an inefficient use of space negatively affects the bottom line and market share. With the economy still in shambles, organizations have reduced their operating expenses by reducing their headcount. This has forced the inefficiencies in their warehouse operations to become more prevalent. This webcast, sponsored by PathGuide, will address key issues that often go overlooked in the warehouse. Issues such as: labor (which accounts for 65% of the costs associated with distribution) and the key is your warehouse supervisor. Also, inventory (which usually ranges between 6% to 20% of an organization’s top line sales) and is rarely managed properly. During the webcast hear the perspectives of Rene’ Jones, Founder of Total Logistics Solutions, as he discusses why your warehouse is imperative in defeating your supply chain villains: lost sales, excess inventory, shrinking margins and market share.

Register now for the free one-hour, "7 Reasons why your warehouse is destroying your profitability and your market share. And what to do about it!” webcast on the Total Logistics Solutions website at http://www.logisticsociety.com/webinar_info.html.

The PathGuide Supply Chain webcast is designed to illustrate how companies can utilize their warehouse to gain a competitive advantage by ensuring customers receive: what they want, when they want it and at a competitive price.

 

About Total Logistics Solutions, Inc.

TLS is a leading supply chain and logistics consulting organization that focuses specifically on improving organizations bottom line by improving their warehouse operations. Rene’ Jones is the Founder of Total Logistics Solutions, Inc. which is headquartered in Burbank, CA. Rene’ was named one of the, “Top 25 Pro’s to Know” in 2009 and is the author of the book, “This Place Sucks! What your warehouse employees think about your company and how to change their perception!” For more information about Total Logistics Solutions, Inc. call 888-807-0958 or visit the company’s website at www.logisticsociety.com.

About PathGuide

PathGuide Technologies, Inc., a privately held company founded in 1989, is a leading provider of warehouse automation solutions for wholesale and industrial distributors across North America. PathGuide's software and services help suppliers increase productivity and order accuracy, improve customer service and lower labor costs, ultimately driving greater profitability. For more information about PathGuide call 888-627-9797 or visit the company’s website at www.pathguide.com.

 

 

Even in tough times, Bardon Supplies Ltd.  focuses on what's important: Customer Service

 

At a time when many wholesale distributors are cutting costs, instituting layoffs, freezing wages and just not spending any money, Bardon Supplies Ltd. decided that if it is to survive the current economic downturn it must focus on two key areas in its supply chain: its customers and its warehouse.  


To talk about investing in your warehouse during times like these, many distributors will tell you that’s crazy. But in 2005 after being purchased by Group Deschenes, Barry Raycroft the vice president and general manager of Bardon Supplies picked up where his now retired father, Don Raycroft, left off. Don founded Bardon in 1969 in Belleville, Ontario, with a small building and a desire to provide the industry what it desperately needed, “Unmatched Customer Service.” Forty years later with his son Barry Raycroft at the helm, his motto and vision are similar to that of his father. Therefore, it was not out of character to address the one area that has such a dramatic impact on service levels and customer satisfaction, “The Warehouse!”

In 2007, Bardon commissioned Total Logistics Solutions Inc. (TLS) to assist with the implementation of an industry leading Warehouse Management System (WMS) in their Barrie location. Rene’ Jones, founder of TLS, was already familiar with Bardon. He was the project manager during two previous WMS implementations at the company’s Belleville and Kingston locations. 

The Barrie branch which is approximately 30,000 square feet has 13 warehouse employees and five delivery drivers. According to Wayne Buck, the branch manager in Barrie, “It was not a question of whether we were meeting our customers’ needs, it was a question of could we meet them more efficiently while simultaneously reducing our warehouse operating costs?” The implementation of the system was completed in February 2009 with a wall-to-wall Physical Inventory. “We have always taken our annual physical inventory seriously, but this was one of the most in-depth inventories I have ever been involved with.” said, Mike Brymer, the warehouse’s inventory control specialist.

The day after the Saturday inventory was completed, the warehouse began receiving, picking, packing and loading orders with the new system. There were the usual reservations from customers and employees, but the implementation went flawlessly. Customers at the Will Call counter immediately began asking, “How would their order get picked without a Pick Ticket?” The warehouse now uses RF (Radio Frequency) devices to process all transactions.

As product arrives on the dock, an ASN (Advance Shipment Notification) is generated, which selects the most appropriate locations for the product prior to it being touched by the receiving department. “It is great!” said Warren Symes, the lead receiver. He went on to say, “I am amazed at the accuracy, it has virtually eliminated receiving errors especially with serial numbered product. Before we had to read the tiny numbers on the packing slip and then verify those numbers to the number on the box. Now we just scan the product and the system knows if that is the serial number it was expecting. If it is not, we cannot proceed.” 

The picking process has been streamlined as well. The order pickers no longer pick an order from start to finish. The orders are now broken down into smaller more efficient chunks based on the type of product to be picked. In other words, an order with fittings, a heating coil and pipe can be picked by three different people simultaneously and merged during the loading process.

You no longer see pickers walking up and down aisles looking for lost product either. The system now directs the pickers where to pick an item from, based on a predetermined picking sequence. Should they choose not to pick the item from the system suggested location, because say the product was damaged, it forces the picker to enter a traceable “Reason Code” why they are not following the directive? Upon the completion of entering a “Reason Code” it then displays additional locations where the product is stored. 

But the best part of the system is the Command Center functionality. Before if a customer wanted to make a change to an order that was already printed, the warehouse supervisor would have to find every picker to see who had that customer’s order. “It was a nightmare with order changes,” said James Walsh, the new command center specialist. “Now Gary, our supervisor, simply comes to me and I can tell him who is picking the order, which line of the order they are on, and we can even delete items off of the order without the picker ever knowing the deleted item was there. It is much more efficient!” The Command Center also has the ability to monitor orders, review the receiving process and keep track of the daily workload to change resources depending on the time of day and the amount of transactions to be processed.

The overall goal was to be more efficient, reduce the branches operating costs and provide an unmatched level of service to Bardon’s customers. With the implementation of the system and warehouse layout changes instituted by Total Logistics Solutions, the Barrie branch has achieved the following:
1. Less than two errors per 450 orders shipped.

2. Inventory Accuracy, which is normally in the mid 80s with most distributors, is now in the high 90s with Bardon Supplies and improving.

3. Receiving errors have dropped by 80% and continuing to fall as the receivers become more comfortable with the system.

4. The same amount of work is being processed with two less people. They were not laid off, but merely transitioned into other areas of the business.

5. Returns, because of shipment errors, have decreased by over 90%. Which is a major improvement considering most distributors have between 3% to 8% of their outbound orders returned.

“Most distribution organizations have forgotten how vital their warehouse operation is to their overall success or failure in good and bad times. Less than 30% of warehouses are efficient, 65% of the cost associated with distribution is directly related to labor and inventory values range between 6% to 20% of the organization’s annual revenue,” said Rene’ Jones. He went on to say, “Many distributors find themselves in a crunch, not because of the economy. But because they often fall short of their customers’ expectations and are not able to deliver (1) What the customer wants, (2) When they want it and (3) At a competitive price.”


Bardon Supplies Limited is a division of Groupe Deschenes Inc., a privately held, family managed corporation. Bardon Supplies was established in Belleville in 1969. Groupe Deschenes acquired the Company in June of 2005, bringing the total number of branch locations in the network to sixty-nine in Ontario and Quebec. Visit the company’s Web site at www.bardonsupplies.com

Total Logistics Solutions, Inc. is a privately held Supply Chain and Logistics consulting organization. TLS was established in 1997 in Burbank, CA. TLS is focuses on improving the warehouse operations of manufacturers and distributors. Their customers include: Home Depot, Ryan Herco Products, Builders Plumbing Supplies, Kitchen Distributors of America, Westburne and many others. Visit the company’s Web site at www.logisticsociety.com or send an email to info@logisticsociety.com

 

Warehouse Christmas Carol 

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the warehouse,

Not a forklift was stirring, not even a mouse;

 

There were no stockings hung, only safety signs that read,

Pedestrians beware, or you could end up dead;

 

As I looked around I noticed, the inventory was not nestled where it was supposed to be,

The warehouse was out of space and all the world could see;

 

The supervisor in his ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down and told me, the consultant, “he was sick of this crap;”

 

Inaccurate inventory, not enough space,

Constant employee turnover, a pile of returns,

He took a deep breath, and then put his hands on his face;

 

How did we get here, he asked, what are we doing wrong,

How will we catch up with receiving, I thought to myself,

“This is the same tired song;” Click Here to Read Entire Carol

NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR THEY HAVE AN UGLY BABY!

Gas is up over $4.50 a gallon, transportation costs are going through the roof, your employees are struggling to keep their homes and your customers are scrutinizing every cost on their invoices. I think it is safe to assume our economy is in trouble. This means your supply chain, which you have been neglecting, is crucial to your organizations success or its imminent failure. It is even more basic than that, “Your warehouse is about to make you or break you!”

I am not an economist but the signs look bleak for those organizations that have not addressed the issues related to the distribution of their product. In other words, “Their Warehouse Operations!” Your inability to provide the customer: what they want, when they want it, on a consistent basis, and at a reasonable price will affect the livelihood of your organization during this down cycle.

Woseley announced plans to close 75 locations and said their profit was down by 23%. Many other distributors are feeling the crunch and will ultimately begin “Right-Sizing”. “These are tough times” one CEO said, and I was told by a warehouse supervisor, “It doesn’t take a PHD to chop-heads”.

It’s time to admit you have an, “Ugly Baby!” Or, in distribution terminology, “Admit your warehouse is in shambles!” Click Here to Read More

Warehouse Warehouse KPI's - Who's in Your "Fav-Five?"

As a distribution professional, you have several key performance indicators you are always aware of. The operations and fulfillment field includes many KPIs--quantifiable measurements that reflect the success factors of an organization.

But which warehouse KPIs are in your “Fav Five?” Here are mine, in descending order.

5. Returns processed
By this I mean returns processed as a result of incorrect product being shipped, or that the warehouse made a mistake. If you do not accurately track this metric, how do you know the effectiveness of your warehouse staff? You don’t!

4. Inventory movement
When was the last time you took a long, hard look at where your product is located within your warehouse? Most organizations don’t do this regularly—and they should. Did you know that 20% of your product is picked for 80% of your orders? And 55% of your pickers’ and receivers’ time is spent traveling to and from your locations? That’s why this metric is on my list. Click Here to Read our Fav-Five

WMS by the Numbers

 

Abstract: When it comes to warehouse management systems (WMS), the stats are both shocking and thought-provoking. And although you don’t see these stats in the marketing brochures of WMS vendors, you need to think about them before you purchase a WMS.

 

Warehouses are built around numbers—from the facility’s square footage, to how many rows of racking it takes to stock the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs), all the way to the amount of orders processed through a facility in a day. This article takes the numbers associated with warehouse management systems (WMS) you don’t see in the marketing brochures or advertisements of WMS vendors, and gets you thinking before you purchase and begin to implement a WMS.

 

If you watch television, you may be familiar with the CBS show NUMB3RS. Rob Morrow stars as an FBI detective aided by his mathematician brother in solving bank robberies and homicides. The show depicts how the confluences of FBI work, and mathematics provide unexpected revelations and answers to the most perplexing criminal questions. Let’s take a look at those number junctions in your distribution center.

 

30 Percent

Less than 30 percent of warehouses are efficient, according to “Benchmarking Warehouse Performance,” a study by the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia [US]). That probably speaks directly to why you’re reading this article. You may have been wondering if a WMS system could make your warehouse more efficient. Click Here to read more numbers

 

How to be a "Good" warehouse employee!

Every business Guru on the planet is talking about leadership. So, I decided to tell everyone how to be an excellent follower (employee). These 16 Tidbits of information were extracted from the White Paper with the same title. CNN Money did a survey and found most workers waste and average of 2.9 hours per day. That means if you are average, including lunch and breaks, you only work for 4.5 hours a day. Remember that statistic when your company has its next layoff. Because that means half of you are not needed anyway.

  • Work while you are at work! I know that is a strange concept for most people, but remember you are at a job and not a social club.

  • If you are a “Complainer” shut up! No one wants to be miserable at work. If you feel you have been slighted by the organization, “That is your problem!”

  • Clean your work area!  Nothing irritates me more than to see a dirty warehouse. You have to constantly clean your work area. If you are a picker or a putaway person, the aisles should be spotless. There should not be shrink wrap in the aisles, there should not be empty boxes on the floor and there should not be trash (coke cans) on the shelves.

  • Do something that is not your responsibility everyday! Most people are quick to tell you that is not my responsibility. And if they don’t vocalize it, they still think it. Most warehouse employees will walk by a piece of trash on the floor, several times a day, without picking it up. Mainly because it is not their job. And, because they think no one cares whether they pick it up anyway.

  • [Read The White Paper]                      [Read The 16 Tidbits]

You Know Your WMS Implementation is Going Bad When:

Over the years I have been involved with so many WMS installations I actually stopped counting. Whether I was there in the beginning or called in when all hell was breaking loose, one thing I have noticed is that with every implementation there are signs. Sometimes humorous (after the fact) and sometimes not, signs that tell you whether the implementation is going as expected. Such As:

  • Your inventory is 99% accurate! “In your salesmen trunk!”

  • One of the consultants you hired to help begins crying in front of one of your terminals!

  • Your #1 customer, who is tired of waiting in will call, begins picking their own orders. And you realize they are faster at it than your pickers.

  • [Read More Signs]

   
 

Warehouse Management Systems: Pie in the Sky or a Floating Bakery?

Many software companies will tell you about all of the bells and whistles in their WMS system. Many will give you unrealistic ROI expectations. You have to be able to determine what is reality and what is "Pie in the Sky!" Remember whether you drive a Rolls Royce or a Hyundai they both use the same $2.00 gas to get from one place to another. What fuel you use to operate your warehouse is up to you. This White Paper will help you achieve a successful outcome.

 

19 Steps to Maintain An Accurate Inventory

There are some interesting things about inventory, that I am sure everyone knows. Such as: (1) Distribution inventory values range between 6% and 20% of the company’s annual revenue. (2) An inaccurate inventory causes several problems: Lost Sales / Decrease in Profitability / Lost Productivity searching for product. (3) Companies use inventory as a security blanket to cover deficiencies in their warehouse. Learn what you can do to control your inventory.


Issue 1-1
Time Keepers and Clock Makers
Abstract: Right now, you probably have someone hiring and firing warehouse personnel who has never attended a course on interviewing techniques or labor laws. You have someone controlling millions of dollars of inventory that could not tell you the last time they attended a course or read a book about inventory control. And we wonder why our inventory is so inaccurate.


Issue 1-2
ROI In Your Warehouse (Real or Imagined)
ABSTRACT: How can someone legitimately evaluate new software, improvements to a process, or “RIGHT-SIZE” without some knowledge of what is reality?


Issue 1-3
Sit Customer Sit "How did Customers Get So Trained?"
ABSTRACT: Your customers perception of your company is formed from the packages that arrive at their receiving dock. What do you think they perceive?


Maintain Your Sanity During a Relocation Project!
Abstract: With all of the company’s that relocate because of space problems, you would think more of them would address why they are running out of space so quickly. Most say, “It is because of rapid growth.” This may be true some of the time, but not always. It is normally because of improper utilization of space in the facility they once occupied.


"When You Pay Peanuts You Get Monkeys"
Abstract: When setting up our Supply Chains we speak with our vendors, our manufacturers, and our customer’s. But very rarely do we speak to our own people. Your average receiver can tell you every problem you have with a specific vendor or manufacturer. Your pickers can tell you just how a certain customer likes their product labeled. Your shippers can get your carriers to show up just about when they want. So why don’t we involve these people more? Because when we tour our warehouses all we see are expenses and not assets.

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