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Why hire a logistics consultant?

A lot of companies already have their own logistic/warehouse managers. These managers help the company to make a number of logistic decisions. However, such companies may also need to hire a logistic consultant. Despite their own internal expertise, the company will benefit a lot from the knowledge and experience of a consultant. The consultant will help the company to manage any issues that have to do with their supply chain. They will also help the company to make better decisions on logistical problems.

There are a number of logistics problems that a company may face. They could be growing very rapidly. They could want help with their productivity. They could even want help with their equipment. They could also want to understand the cost of logistics at a product or customer level. The following are some of the reasons why companies choose to hire logistic consultants:

THEY HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE

A company may be faced with a unique dilemma that they need to resolve. For example, they may have acquired another company. They may also want to deal with the problem of excess stock or expensive transportation costs. The company may need to get a solution about back loading. They may also want to know how to get cheap freight. A logistics consultant has probably dealt with such issues before. The company will hire a consultant who has experience in dealing with their specific logistics problem. They will know the solutions that work. They will also know the solutions that do not work.

THEY POSSESS THE RELEVANT SKILLS

Logistic consultants have both technical and operational skills. The company may not have the same level of internal expertise. The logistics consultants are experts in their field. They have managerial skills, analytical skills, and technical skills. They can thoroughly analyse the situation and communicate effectively. Their skills have enabled them to manage all the logistical problems that a company may face.

OBJECTIVE APPROACH

A lot of companies already have a logistics team. However, they prefer to hire a logistics consultant for certain issues. This is because the logistics consultant is not an employee of the company. They can approach the project more objectively. The external consultants will be unbiased in their approach and solutions for the various issues.

BETTER RESOURCES

A company may require quite an amount of time to develop all the resources that it needs to handle logistics. However, for logistics consultants, this is their main area of expertise. Therefore, they always have developed resources and tools. This means that they can begin the process immediately. They use methods that help them to adopt the different approaches in order to solve a company’s logistics problem. The company is therefore more likely to get better assistance if they use the consultants.

EXPERTS IN HANDLING DIFFERENT SUBJECT MATTERS

There are a number of issues that can be very difficult to manage internally. However, the logistics consultants can provide their expertise on such urgent and difficult matters. They will consider all the specialized operations of a company. They will then offer their own fresh ideas that will help the company to solve their logistical problems.

http://www.logistics-consult.co.nz

Warehouse & Distribution KPI’s

A logistics KPI or metric is a performance measurement that is used by logistics managers to track, visualize and optimize all relevant logistic processes in an efficient and transparent way. Among others, these measurements refer to transportation, warehouse and supply chain aspects.

“you cannot improve what you do not measure”

Here is the complete list of the most important logistics KPIs and metrics.

Shipping Time: Spot potential issues in your order fulfilment process

Order Accuracy: Monitor the degree of incidents

Delivery Time: Track your average delivery time in detail

Transportation Costs: Analyse all costs from the order placement to delivery

Warehousing Costs: Optimize the expenses of your warehouse

Number of Shipments: Understand how many orders are shipped

Inventory Accuracy: Avoid problems because of inaccurate inventory

Inventory Turnover: Track how many times your entire inventory is sold

Inventory to Sales Ratio: Identify a potential overstock

Warehouse Security Top Tips

Warehouse security is a tough tightrope to walk, and increasing it often feels overwhelming. You’ve got to balance protecting the company and products with setting the right tone and culture so that employees don’t feel like you’re always accusing them of something.

We’ve put together a few different methods you can use to start securing your warehouse quickly but also tie to larger initiatives that benefit employees too.

1. Use a WMS for automatic inventory counts

Manual data entry for inventory and shipment verification leaves plenty of room for mistakes and fraud. Instead, secure your inventory with accurate, automatic counts through your WMS and handheld device or RFID readers. You’ll reduce the chance of theft by adding goods into your system as soon as they arrive as well as eliminate opportunities for someone to fudge numbers to steal a product.

2. ID badges with RFID

In today’s warehouses, many RFID-enabled sensors and gates are used to track goods as they move from receiving to storage, down through picking and finally out the door. Adding RFID tags to existing employee IDs can use much of this same equipment to track activity and movement. This data can help you maintain personnel and asset security by monitoring for safety best practices as well as theft. IDs also help you monitor for delivery drivers or other individuals who should not be in certain areas of your warehouse.

Guide: get vver 120 WMS feature ideas to help you build a requirements list and shortlist vendors

3. Fence in your locationYou can’t control what you haven’t contained. Fencing in your area is a smart way to keep people out of areas they shouldn’t access. It also creates an atmosphere of protection. Pair it with decent, bright lights and thieves may pick another target without pressing your security.

4. Install CCTVFor small warehouses, this can be a relatively quick action thanks to a new breed of Wi-Fi-enabled CCTV cameras. You’ll just need access to an outlet and Internet in your warehouse. They’re a great tool for protecting assets as well as staff. Even better news, CCTV can sometimes reduce insurance costs, especially if you can tie it to a reduction in injuries or losses.

5. Add motion detectors

Motion detection is a core part of most security systems, though sometimes warehouses stop at motion-activated lighting. Today, you’ve got access to a wide range of sensors that detect and track motion while sending alerts to managers or law enforcement. Keep people out of areas they shouldn’t be in with detectors as well as signage for the security system you use.

6. Use environmental controls and sensors

Security is more than just about preventing theft. You’ll also want to prevent damage to and loss of goods plus harm to your people. Look for ways to integrate your environmental controls into your dashboards. You can monitor the temperature to act quickly in case of a fire, monitor the status of refrigerators to prevent spoilage, and even track and reduce power consumption. Environmental sensors are a top defence against disasters and emergencies.

7. Secure all passwords

Today we see as many threats online as we do in the warehouse itself. The first step in keeping your system secure is to make passwords complex and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). You can use 2FA that sends a text message to employee phones or provide a dongle that displays a special password and updates regularly.

Keep your systems secure by implementing training for smart passwords as well as specifically spelling out when an employee should give out their password or when IT should give someone a new password.

8. Simplify your processes

How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your warehouse operations? Are teams spending a lot of time in the back corners away from others? Do you have dozens of touches for each order?

Over time, our warehouse work often adds layers on top of layers, and we just make do. We get used to all those steps. But, increased steps and waiting and other elements also increase the opportunity for threat or harm. Streamline your workflow, and you’ll remove some temptations as well as time to commit a crime — not only from internal sources but also external such as how long delivery drivers are left in your warehouse.

9. Engage with employees

Understanding the threats you face requires understanding your warehouse team. Get a feel for their impression of their jobs, gripes, complaints, what they like, and where they think problems may be occurring. You might be able to improve morale and reduce theft by implementing incentive programs or “thank you” programs or find out about problems you didn’t notice.

All-in-all, you can’t improve what you aren’t measuring. The best place to start with first is to get an understanding of what you have and where it’s headed.

Ways to Improve Warehouse Layout Efficiency and Save Costs

One element of warehousing that can have a negative impact on supply chain costs is the way in which the space is set out and utilized. How many of the following four inefficiencies do you recognise within your company’s warehouse layout? If you can identify with one or more of them, you’ll find a tip or two here to help remedy the situation and improve warehouse layout efficiency.

#1: Receiving department

The goods receiving area of your warehouse is generally a hive of activity, which all too often is crammed into an inadequate space for the purpose.

While it may seem counterintuitive to give up floor and racking space to expand the goods-in section of your warehouse, releasing a larger floor area here can often lead to greater overall warehouse layout efficiency—and therefore reduced operating costs.

#2  Pickers

Time is money and distance is time.

If you are at all familiar with lean supply chain practices, you will know that transport and motion are two of the seven wastes to be minimised or eliminated in a warehouse. A great deal of excess motion and transport are generated by poorly laid out pick faces, through which warehouse operatives must back-track and meander while assembling orders or truckloads.

Unfortunately, even when warehouses start out with a logical and efficient picking route, the addition, removal and changes in turnover of product lines often result in these routes being undone over time.

Reviewing your pick paths from time to time and making the effort to rearrange storage locations can pay off by improving picking efficiency and keeping labour-related costs down.

#3: Pick it Up – Put it Down … Again

Every time your warehouse team members pick up an item from your inventory, it costs money for your operation.

If you find that you have product lines which are put away in bulk storage areas and then frequently moved to replenish picking locations, consider putting them on the floor instead and picking directly from this floor stock.

This is just one example, but the golden rule is, reduce the amount of times that any inventory item is touched, between receiving and dispatching.

#4: Pick face layout

A vast warehouse with rows of racking marching into the distance might look impressive, but such a set-up is likely to murder your warehouse layout efficiency. Make it easier for operatives to move around your warehouse by creating plenty of cross-aisles. A top-down view of your warehouse should look more like city blocks than a 10 lane superhighway. While the four sources of inefficiency and cost described here might seem like common sense, time has a way of eroding the good work done in initial warehouse layout planning.

Top tips for increasing warehouse productivity


Purchase equipment that can be utilized in multiple areas

By purchasing equipment that can be used in a variety of areas with a variety of processes, the cost of doing business will be reduced.

Reduce unnecessary motion/travel

Reducing cycle times and turns happens only after driving out inefficiencies. Equipment that allows operators to collect information quickly without unnecessary motion or travel will improve the process.

Drive out human error with technology

Look for methods and equipment that reduce human interpretation. Scanning of barcodes, sharing information over the network, and combining information from several processes are ways to improve.

Improve staff training

Technology can improve any organization if the people are properly trained to the process and operate the equipment. Train, train, and train again, to get the best return on one of your biggest investments – people.

Ensure good communication

Communication is critical in human interaction. It is also vitally important in processing information within the warehouse environment. Equipment that shares mission critical data through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi quickly shares information with billing and tracking systems and will improve warehouse operations.

Keep an eye on new procedures or technologies

Always look to implement new procedures and look to modern technologies – or different ways of applying old ones – to save both time and effort in daily warehouse operations. Focusing on continued improvement will improve the overall performance and lower the overall labor cost.

Measure performance 

Make sure operations capture and manage critical KPIs. Understand and track critical productivity and costs on shipped orders, cost per box, and cost per line shipped. It is essential to measure and understand baseline information to be able to assess and put in place cost reduction measures. In short, you cannot improve if you do not measure!

Metrics illustrating relationship between warehouse productivity and profit

There is a clear relationship between warehouse productivity and profit. A medium size company with 40,000 pallet movements a year, in which 12,400 pallet movements require weighing, can save 3 minutes per weighment using a mobile fork scale compared to moving the load to a typical floor scale location. This saves the company approximately 37,200 minutes, or 620 man-hours. At an average warehouse rate of $35 per hour, the company could achieve a yearly cost savings of $21,700 ($1,808 per month). If one considers the cost of a mobile fork scale (including maintenance costs) the profitability gain would be more than $13,000 per year.

Warehouses can realize time savings per weighment by using mobile fork scales

Fairbanks customers have realized a time savings per weighment utilizing the Fairbanks BlueLine WF Series fork scale on their forklifts. The weigh forks are completely wireless and use a rechargeable battery pack that works independently of the forklift. This savings was based on the time it took to drive a load to their floor scale and back to the trailer to be loaded compared to weighing immediately at the staging location. Trailers that previously took 3 hours or more to load were loaded in just over 1.5 hours. This substantial improvement in trailer loading times also reduced traffic back and forth from the scale, which in turn reduced dock congestion.

Look to mobile weighing devices to improve efficiency

Incorporating a weighing device into forklifts is an excellent way to reduce excess travel time to and from a traditional floor scale, thus allowing tasks to be completed more quickly.

Maximise and optimise all available space. Rather than expand the footprint of your warehouse, consider better use of vertical space. Adding taller storage units and the right equipment to pick and store material can help you keep more in the same square footage, rather than adding expansion costs. In addition, think about the type and variety of shelving used. Storing small items on pallet racks wastes space, and makes it easy to misplace items. Rather than using the same racks throughout your warehouse, you may need various types of shelving for different materials. Also, try using standardised bins to help keep shelves neat and orderly.