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The Search for Efficient Warehouse and Distribution Operations Continues

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Distributors are under increasing pressures to do more with less everywhere, including the warehouse. Recent research by Intermec, discussed in “Inefficient Work Flows Go Unchecked by Management,” posted on MHLnews.com, reveals that in the last six months alone, nearly eight out of ten (79%) warehouse managers have been tasked with finding an average 19 percent cost saving from existing operations.  That is no small task.  However, an evaluation of warehouse and distribution operations, combined with the right technology, can help you find ways to achieve those cost savings.

A productive employee is a profitable employee, and there are lots of places in a warehouse or distribution facility where productivity can be compromised.  According to the Intermec study, the average worker loses “more than 15 minutes a day, 58 hours a year, 8 working days a year”.  With a warehouse minimum of 50 workers, this equates to 2,899 hours per year.  Who would think that 15 minutes of wasteful activities would ever equate to such a colossal waste of labor hours?  Before you let any more time slip through the cracks, take a cold, hard look at your operations and implement the technology that will keep your productivity up to par.

Your enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution is a good place to start.  Comprehensive solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics® GP, can manage financials, supply chain, manufacturing, project and services management, as well as human resources and payroll.  Adding automation to common daily tasks involving data entry, finding and sharing data, and reporting can improve productivity in accounting, sales, and other departments throughout your company, as well as the warehouse and distribution centers.  The business intelligence and robust reporting features in Microsoft Dynamics GP will provide insight into what you are doing well and which systems could use a little tweaking.  Adding a warehouse management solution (WMS) to your ERP can help you track labor hours, compare them by employee or shift, or even against industry standards.  These types of systems often include barcode and EDI technology, so you can scan inventory in bins, on the manufacturing floor, or as it’s being packed and shipped.  Reduce the time spent on physical inventory counts and create more accurate inventory forecasts based on real-time inventory data in your ERP.

Right when you think there are not enough hours in the day, you need to take a step back and figure out why.  Reclaim that time by providing your team with the tools that can make their jobs easier and faster.  Improving productivity and business efficiencies will lead to improved profitability.  Contact OmniVue for more information about how to find more time in your day.

By OmniVue, Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner out of Georgia

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