Introduction and challenges
Companies are subjected to delivering increasingly high standards of performance in terms of quality, cost, and ever tougher time constraints. It is therefore crucial to consider how warehouse operations can best be optimised.
Global sourcing, just-in-time, cross-dock, client specific picking, increased product ranges and flows have become more complex. Logistics resources are becoming rarer and more expensive. In certain strategic geographic locations, the lack of available facilities to use as stocking points and shortage of qualified staff make warehousing a daily challenge. Regulatory concerns such as staff and asset safety; restrictions on hours worked and weights handled are increasing. Warehouse footprints have considerably increased. Finally, subcontracting management requires specific internal expertise as logistics operators are becoming more professional.
Handling this complexity requires new processes such as resource planning, e.g. load balancing with capacity constraints; new work methods e.g. Lean approach, mechanisation, robotics, automation; new roles e.g. flow manager, maintenance engineer for mechanised facilities; and ever developing IT systems to run the activity e.g. OMS for Order Management System, WMS for Warehouse Management System, WCS for Warehouse Control System.
How we can help
Argon & Co helps companies rethink their management and their processes, as well as developing a culture of excellence by implementing best practice in their logistics operations.
- Optimising existing sites: diagnostics, identifying and implementing operational performance levers, benchmarking, resolving bottlenecks, getting the best from staff e.g. training to develop competencies, change management, optimising how IT is used
- Promoting Lean management and a data-driven approach: making the logistics operation more stable, avoiding variances, root cause analysis, increasing throughput and efficiency and implementing a logistics excellence system
- Innovative warehouse conception: evaluation of automation or mechanisation opportunities, Lean organisational conception, identification of possible IT improvements and new requirements
- Creating new sites: warehouse sizing (direct and indirect staff, building and layout), equipment selection, internal flow organisation and picking methods, make or buy decision (internal/3PL)
- Warehouse transfer and site closure: transfer strategy, business continuity planning, go-live support and risk mitigation during ramp-up
- Managing the outsourcing process: 3PL tendering (identifying needs; identifying potential suppliers; developing the tender document; running the tendering and selection process; negotiation support and contract support), 3PL performance improvement (contract management process, performance objectives and review, action plan management, continuous improvement)