Steps to Prevent Rack Damage Before It Is Too Late

The warehouses managed by different companies do consist of racks which are needed to store goods. Rack Damage is one of the common issues which are faced by these storage centers. In the recent past, there have been numerous reports where damaged racks have created a lot of hassle putting goods as well as people in danger. Prevention is always better than cure which must be realized by these warehouse owners. There must be proper measures which should be taken in order to spot damaged racks and replacing them with reliable ones. Let us focus on some of the essential points which should be followed in order to curb rack damage incidents.

rack damage preventions

Rack Design

  • The best prevention method is to work on the initial design of the rack. You need to consider certain aspects such as wide aisles and boxed front columns.
  • The warehouse owners must act sensible when it comes to planning the structure of these racks.
  • Column guards along with rub rails are quite necessary for handling all types of conditions such as in freezers. Moreover, one must also keep in mind the inventory that needs to be stored in these racks. Planning out the design according to the products is indeed a smart step.
  • The inclusion of intersections is required in order to enhance strength.
  • Only trust a reputed dealer who is capable of designing a rack system as per your needs.

Check Measures

It is important that the racks are checked time to time. This is a good prevention measure before any damage occurs. You can hire a local rack expert or ask any of the staff members at the warehouse to perform an inspection. Ask the expert to spot the damaged racks by analyzing each and every component. To rate if the rack is damaged or not, certain pointers must be considered:

  • If the deflection is more than 1/8” from the front and ¼” lateral deflection. On the cross brace the deflection must be more than 3/8”. These are conditions when the upright should be taken out of service.
  • Check if the base plates are broken along with loose anchor bolts. Sheared or twisted uprights require immediate repair.
  • Do not miss to check pallet weights along with rack capacities.

Loading of Racks

  • While loading the racks the drivers or workers must take good care. These racks must be properly labeled with specific load tolerance limits. The drivers must be trained in order to stack loads perfectly by managing the weight in the center.
  • Common sense does come into play when heavier goods are placed in the racks. Such goods that are high on weight must be managed in the lower rack levels. Moreover, the rack uprights should be designed according to the heaviest weight pallets.

Proper lighting and visibility

  • There are certain simple precautions which can surely prevent huge mishaps with warehouse racks. A lot depends on the driver’s visibility so that he can carefully load the racks. Banging into the racks is not at all good.
  • There must be proper lighting in the aisle so that the driver can have a good view of the racks.
  • Convex mirrors with wide angles can be fixed on the forklift or at the ends of aisle. This will give the forklift drivers a better judgment of the surroundings which simultaneously will prevent any sort of mishap.

Protection of Racks

You simply cannot ignore protective measures for your racks. Though these racks are designed to be tough but some form of protection is indeed needed in order to keep them going. What if a forklift hits the rack? Surely the rack will face great level of damage. There are certain options which can be selected to prevent any sort of major loss. You can choose end of aisle guards or post protectors that are very efficient. Moreover, low profile rack guards can also be selected. You can get these guards designed as per the structure of your racks. It is better to take the help of experts who have good knowledge about these storing units.

Final Say:

Warehouses are always busy and filled with goods. You can call them as the hazardous centers where accidents can happen anytime due to a minor mistake. The warehouse owners need to plan things properly so as to avoid these mishaps. The above stated points are quite beneficial in order to understand the complications related to racks and how to ensure their safety. You can employ a particular set of people who are in-charge for supervising these racks. Maintenance must also be given top priority so that these racks can be utilized for a longer duration.

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5 Best Practices for the Warehouse

It is true that most of the warehouses have a definite plan to operate efficiently however there is a chance that new opportunities might squeeze out the inefficiencies. Change is constant, new suppliers will join you, you’ll hire new employees on board and new facilities will be added to the mix. Thus with time, it is necessary to include a fresh approach to perform efficiently so as to launch process improvements that can make a positive impact on the bottom line and also prove fruitful for the customers.

With an objective of reducing wastage, here we have come up with 5 key suggestions to remove deficiencies that may negatively hamper profitability and productivity. Even implementation of one of it works to reduce warehouse inefficiency thereby resulting in improved asset management and performance in your organization.

Data Governance

The principles that drive data governance must be input once and recalled autonomously as a quintessential part of several processes at one time. Look for an opportunity to evade the very need of reconciliations, clean up or any additional work that may be necessary to ensure the accuracy and the integrity of the maintained data. One important way to fulfil this objective is by focusing on the superior technology tools that can propagate:

  • Relevant Audit Capabilities
  • Standardization of Processes
  • Adequate Data Integrity

These components are vital not just in a warehouse environment but also across the organization as an effort to straighten out the material throughput and inventory tracking within not just your immediate plant or warehouse but also across the extended supply chain. An improved visibility in these operations will help in the betterment of the accuracy of the collected data and will also result in reduction of the possibility of clean up in the times to come. It has been seen and reported that on successful implication of the reporting tools that focus on data governance and advanced warehouse technology, a number of best performing organizations have reaped in substantial benefits when it comes to market competitiveness.

Inventory Storage Management Solutions

These days, almost every organization has included inventory and warehouse management in their core operations and supply chain management functions. One key objective of the supply chain management is to recuperate the inventory throughput by leveraging the importance of real time information that maybe related to the status of storage bin and inventory utilization. All top notch standards demand accurate awareness of the inventory till the time it is in the warehouse. Therefore, effective warehouse design including storage systems that offer easy visibility to the WIP i.e. Work In Progress can be one important tool to achieve superior standards. Application of steel shelving can definitely prove helpful in this realm.


Vendor Compliance Programs

The vendor compliance program is a means to communicate to the vendor how exactly they would want their products to arrive. This program should include standard case quantities, specific labeling requirements and the advanced shipping notification standards. Further, every policy that you think may prove helpful in helping your factory perform more consistently should also be included in these programs. The standards for this program must be developed by way of collaborative effort that goes in the procurement and the operational personnel.

Organizational Culture and Diversity

You cannot overlook the language barriers that may come in between the warehouse management. To avoid this, the IWLA (International Warehouse Logistics Association) has come up with a possible solution which demands inclusion of multilingual software and protocols that would help the warehouse managers accept the diversity that maybe present in their workplace. Application of bar codes is one way to overcome the language barrier. So, when the WIP items or materials are scanned it is easy to track and manage them across the production process without worrying about the possibility of human error either in typing or in communication.


Every efficient logistic planning involves cross docking wherever possible. What is cross docking? It is the method of unloading the materials from an incoming vehicle and then loading these materials simultaneously on the outbound vehicles thereby avoiding the warehousing interval in between. Sounds similar to ‘just in time’ shipping? You got it right! Cross decking is one vital solution when the freshness of the product is a major concern. It started out seeing the need of the perishable goods to reach the market quickly. So, inclusion of this process in the standard can definitely lead to improvements in the distribution and manufacturing center.

cross docking

Final Say

A lot of warehouses and the factories today are either operating inefficiently or are improperly designed. Sadly, there are some that are neglected altogether. So, with these five practices, there is a chance of improvement in the working of the warehouse. You can implement either one or two or all of these practices and see how the things begin to change at your organization.

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Key Strategies for success in the Omni Channel Fulfillment Market

A lot of retailers fail to pacify their operations in pace with the evolving trends in the e commerce market as well as the rising demands of the e commerce customers. Due to this, the margins from the direct to customer channels are at a high risk of falling short of expectations. Fulfillment is often at the heart of such problems.  

The customers of today who make a purchase from an online source have helped in redefining the fulfillment landscape since a dozen of more channel variations have emerged in the past few years. With the rise in evolution, it becomes important to carefully plan and manage the Omni-channel fulfillment program of the company. But what is Omni-channel? Let’s find out!

What is Omni Channel?

Omni has been derived from the word Omnis that means universal or all. So, Omni Channel means a multi channel approach to sales which aims to provide the customers with a seamless shopping experience irrespective of where the customer is shopping from. Meaning, whether the customer is shopping from a brick and mortar store, a mobile application or a desktop website, the experience he gets ought to be flawless.

Benefits of Omni-Channel Fulfillment

When properly executed and seamlessly enabled, the Omni channel fulfilment strategy can reap in several significant benefits to your customers and retail companies.

  • Improvement in the rate of Customer satisfaction
  • Avoidance of capital investment and re purposing
  • Better delivery mechanism – right product at the right place on the right time
  • Improvement in the revenue performance
  • Reduced number of back orders and stock outs
  • Savings in transportation cost
  • Retail store morale improvements
  • Store productivity gains via in store pick up and shipment from store
  • Gains in inventory productivity by leveraging of inventory across different channels

Key Strategies for success in the Omni Channel Fulfillment Market

Now, that you are aware of the multitude of benefits Omni Channel Fulfilment Market can bring it is important for you to know and understand the strategies so as to find success in the Omni channel fulfillment market. Here we have compiled 4 key strategies that will serve as a guide for both software suppliers and practitioners to continually grow in the market and evolve to best satiate the customers.

Growth in E commerce

The paradigm shift seen in the current Omni Channel retail is largely driven by the out-pour in the e commerce. This is arguably the most vital supply chance management trend that has come up in the past one decade. Ever since the advent of the internet, the brick and mortar sales have been relatively flat whereas the digital sales are growing progressively.  This trend in e commerce is indeed stimulating interest in technology so as to modernize and streamline order fulfilment.

Adequate Investment in Fulfillment Technology

Despite the fact that e commerce is growing at a soaring rate there is not enough investment where it needs to be. There are several technologies such as DOM, TMS and demand planning that are still not utilized optimally. Had these been utilized to their full potential companies would have undoubtedly become a lot more efficient by allocating the inventory to warehouses, stores and the distribution centers thereby efficiently, effectively and reliably moving the freight from the source to the destination. It also involves capturing of the necessary information in the order management process across every relevant channel.  

Don’t limit the innovation

Innovation is one of the most important aspects in expanding the current footprint of the Omni Channel Fulfilment market. Companies need to keep seeking new technologies and innovations so as to keep pace with the changes happening in the market. The crowd-sourced options for delivery are indeed a cost effective option for home delivery however these solutions haven’t been explored enough. Several companies are waiting eagerly to find out how the companies pan out but the key emphasis needs to be on taking bold moves backed with high reward potential. This means that there is a plenty of white space that can be well utilized by the suppliers. It can be catered to by way of acquisitions or new and improved solutions.

Focus on Markets with higher growth potential

It is believed that the Omni Channel Fulfilment market will showcase a phenomenal growth by crossing over $3.7 billion by the beginning of the year 2020. To be able to achieve this objective, companies need to focus largely on the markets that depict higher growth potential. For this, the companies must research all the Tier 2 and 3 markets. With most of the key players targeting the Tier 1 market, there are several small and mid sized companies that are venturing in the Omni channel world. The customers of the second and third tier market will definitely claim a share in the market thereby providing ample growth prospects for suppliers.  

Final Say

This new paradigm of Omni Channel Fulfillment market is here to stay. So all the software suppliers as well as the practitioners must find ways and means to establish themselves in the market, else they’ll lag behind. For this, investment in technology, targeting the markets with high growth potential like the Tier 2 and Tier 3 retailers, investment in innovation and finally keeping pace with expanding e commerce is mandatory.   


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mistakes in logistics

5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid While Reducing Logistics Cost

For the growth of any company there are certain operations which should be given top priority in order to gain positive results. Costs are needed to be controlled so as to maintain a higher chance for profit. Logistics management deals with activities related to storage of goods along with procurement and transport. Do you think the reduction of logistics expenses is a good way to manage cost? Many companies do follow this notion and even work on it. In reality, it is one of the biggest mistakes which should be understood and corrected. The actual logistics cost is hidden in the fuel surcharges that are fixed and cannot be mended. But there are solutions to this problem which can surely help to reduce logistics cost. Similarly, there are several mistakes surrounding the logistics process that should be avoided.

In-House Logistics

Mistake: For a company that is handling international trade, the movement of goods across borders does count expensive. This is a problem which is faced by numerous companies that are part of the international market. If your company consists of an in-house logistics, then there are huge chances of higher costs.

Cure: The most effective cost saving technique is to outsource logistics to an expert supply chain. There is a certain need for an expert in international logistics who is well aware of the basic norms. Under the logistics department there can be certain issues which can arise due to various reasons. An in-house logistics might not tackle such an issue alone. This additional stress can be very well managed by the experts at the supply chain under a controlled cost.

Overcharging by Customs  

Mistake: This mistake is not that much highlighted but is made by several companies. The classification of goods isn’t done correctly on the commercial invoice which leads to unnecessary taxes that directly increase the cost. If some company complaints about import duties and tariffs, then they must surely go through all the stated terms related to it.

Cure: To avoid overcharging and bringing your logistics cost down you must manage the goods according to the custom standards. This will ensure the clearance of your goods in a cost-effective way. If your company deals in large-scale imports, then such measures are required so as to save a lot of cost.

Incorrect Procurement

Mistake: Cost of logistics enhance when carelessness at the storage centers is prominent. Suppose your products are packaged, shipped and received at the exact location. But it is later found out that the paperwork isn’t incorrect. Another case when some parts of the order are different or missing from the consignment. All of this is counted under processing error which can lead to higher logistics costs as the parcel might be sent back and everything will proceed from level one.

Cure: Correct procurement of goods is important which can reduce this addition logistics cost. You can fix a particular group of experts who can carefully check the products along with the paperwork that is involved in overseas trade. One can also take the help of a logistics partner in order to prevent such issues.

Non-Involvement of Automated Compliance Processes

Mistake: If your company is not using software solutions for trade compliance issues, then it can surely affect the logistics cost. Manual preparation of documents can take a lot of time that can delay delivery time along with lesser inventory levels.

Cure: The companies that have successfully implemented software solutions experience speedy outputs. On-time deliver along with the quick elimination of logistics errors is ensured through the inclusion of automated compliance procedures. Increased customer satisfaction is another aspect that is highlighted through this important addition.

Single Platform Availability

Mistake: If the key stakeholders aren’t managed at a common platform, then the supply chain techniques might not come into effect. Companies that are not operating on a single platform are surely wasting their resources. No integration leads to a vulnerable system due to transfer of information through various channels. This process is time consuming as well which leads to higher costs.

Cure: Data intelligence is very necessary that can function onto a single platform for positive results. Trying to curb duplication in order to secure the system is an important step. Time is saved by transferring information onto the common platform so as to reach all the connected stakeholders.

Final Say

The above stated points are some of the common mistakes which should be cured in order to reduce logistic costs. These mistakes might not appear that much prominent but have a major effect on the overall logistics cost. You need to be alert and aware in order to prevent such situations. Always remember that for every problem there is a cure that is available through patient analysis.

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cycle counting inventory

Top 6 Benefits of Cycle Counting Vs. Annual Inventory Counts

The key aim for almost every manufacturing and distribution company is to completely eliminate the very need for physical counting and rather depend on the cycle counting so as to keep the numbers of inventory up to date. Inventory counting tools, inventory management as well as the inventory software like the barcode scanners, can definitely help the companies achieve this goal. Of course this does not eliminate the very need for inventory counting however, there are devices that make it easy for the companies to keep a check on the inventory of everyday basis. When the data of inventory is updated on regular basis, you’ll never have the need to carry out lengthy physical counts.

What is cycle counting?

Cycle counting is an on going process that involves validation of the accuracy of the inventory in the company’s accounting system or the ERP by regularly counting a certain portion of the inventory. The cycle can either be – daily or weekly, depending on your preferences.  So, with cycle counting, every item of your inventory is counted multiple times in a year.

6 Benefits of Cycle Counting over Annual Inventory Counts

Cycle counting offers several benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of cycle counting over annual inventory counts.

Reduced Disruption in operations
Every company that performs cycle counts on regular basis doesn’t need to shut down to perform the physical counts. It can obviously be too expensive to shut down your company for a day or two. So, when you are constantly cycle counting you’ll never have to shut down.   

Reduced errors
With cycle counting, the time period between the counts is reduced. As a result of this, the amount of time period of an error is also reduced substantially. If by any chance, the inventory is not accounted correctly, it is easier to catch the error by way of the cycle counting.

More confident buying decisions
In the cycle counting method, the inventory counts are done regularly. With this continuous assessment you are able to better focus on the subset of the inventory. As a result of this, the buying decision you take are much more targeted and informed. Hence, cycle counting avoids stock outs way ahead of time and thus creates a better report for the buyers in your team.  

Saves time and resources
Annual inventory counts can be one messy process. It may need a lot of time to check the inventory counts. Moreover, if there is any possible discrepancy, finding the error just becomes a lengthy and time consuming process. To avoid wastage of time and resources, cycle counting can be helpful.

Improved customer service
When you have well maintained records, you know where your products are and how many products you have in stock. So, when the customers make an order, facilitating a quick delivery can be easy. When customers get an early delivery, they’ll naturally be more satisfied.

Sales increases
Your happy and satisfied customers are much more likely to recommend you to others. So, this can indirectly lead to a rise in the sales.  

Implementing your cycle counting program

Hopefully, the above listed benefits of cycle counting program has convinced you enough to include it in your company. It is time, you get over the annual inventory counts and bring to use the cycle inventory program so as to ensure optimal inventory management. Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind so as to develop your cycle counting plans.

  • For the cycle counting plan to prove worthwhile, it must be made a part of your daily or weekly routine. A lot of companies who do include cycle counting program fail because they make a mistake of not counting their inventory often enough. Those who rely on the sporadic cycle counts receive only sporadic results. Thus, you can benefit only if you count your inventory on regular basis – daily or weekly.
  • Next, you must create a schedule for your cycle counts. Each company is different thus the schedule that works best for you must be adopted. We however, recommend a 13 week cycle counting calendar. This would mean that every item in your warehouse is counted at least once during this cycle of 13 weeks.
  • Third, plan and prepare well before you begin counting. Preparation is a valuable asset to assure a successful physical count. The same is also important for cycle counting. Do ensure that your warehouse is well organized and you have a proper plan in place for authentic inventory counting process.  

Final Say

Hopefully, the stated benefits of the cycle counting over the annual inventory counts will definitely nudge you to prefer the former. If you have noticed, any other benefit of cycle counting over annual inventory counts, do tell us about it in the comment box below.

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drone future of logistics

Impact of drones on logistics industry in next 10 years

Drones or the unmanned aerial vehicles can broadly be referred to as a flying robot. These aircrafts can either be controlled via remote or it can fly autonomously by way of the software controlled flight plans in the embedded systems that work in conjunction with the GPS.

Evolution of Drones

Drones have been making headlines since past many years in a variety of ways. A lot of these stories revolve around the hobbyists and the amateurs using these remotely controlled aerial vehicles. However, today there are more and more companies that are looking into the drone technology to be able to assist with the logistics. So, it is important for you to make no errors as drones will definitely have a significant impact on the logistics sector in the future. The bigger question is how drones will affect the industry?  

How drones will impact the future of the logistics industry in next one decade?

Store to Consumer
One key area where the usage of the drone will showcase the most significant growth is in the delivery mechanism from the warehouse or the store to the end consumer. In such a scenario a customer might order for a product online via the web portal of the store and a drone will be dispatched to the location of the customer on the same day. Now, the problem with this situation is that drones tend to have a limited range so this type of delivery can be preferred only within an are that lies in close proximity to the warehouse or the retail location.

Inventory Management
Of course store to consumer delivery is the first thing that comes to our mind when it comes to drones however there are other potential developments that logistics companies must take into consideration. One such development is inventory management. For this, one might need, heavy duty drone models and the brighter side is that these are already in the development stage. In this scenario, the larger drones can move between the different warehouses supplying multiple items from one warehouse to the other so as to cater to the regional or the local demand so as to equalize the inventory levels without having to go back to trucking.  


The retailers and consumers tend to experience an uphill battle especially when it comes to claims and returns. Drones, however have the requisite potential to streamline this aspect of the logistics industry. For example, a retailer can employ the use of a heavy duty drone so as to return the damaged part of the pallet of freight. A drone can also be dispatched to the home of the consumer so as to pick up the defective product. Together, the two would eliminate emissions and road congestion by providing a rather quicker process than what is available at present.

Best Drones of 2016

Several drones have been released in the market. However, here we have listed 5 drones that are simply the best, given the features, price and the benefits, each of them has.

DJI Phantom 4

DJI Phantom 4 is definitely an expensive drone however, if you are on a lookout for a complete package – obstacle avoidance, an excellent camera, ready to fly out of the box and automated flight modes, this can be the most preferred drone.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K definitely has a lot on offer however it is the camera of this drone that really sets it apart from the other available consumer drones. It is stabilized with a motorized 3 axis gimbal and the camera of this drone can be effectively removed and used handheld accredited to its included grip.

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

Not each one of us require whistles and the bells. This drone has all of the important ones and DJI offers it all on its Phantom 3 line. What’s best about this drone is its camera that has a resolution of 2.7 K rather than the more expensive 4K resolution Phantom 3 Professional.

Blade Chroma 4K

The camera, propellers and the landing gear of this Chroma’s drone are all easily movable. It has a controller that comes with an in built touch screen so you’ll simply need to throw this drone in the backpack and that’s it!

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

This was indeed a good deal when DJI launched the Standard however it went on to drop the price significantly and today it is the best RTF quad copter for beginners at this price.

Final Say

True, the drones that are used within the logistics sector have a very long way to go. However, the most pressing concern for proponents of the drones is legislation. The US laws in relation to the operation of the drones is very rigid and limiting and would require significant modification before making these devices an integral part of the industry.


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cold storage

Tips to successfully manage a cold storage warehouse

If it is about our homes, most of us would want to keep the cold at bay. However, when it comes to a cold storage warehouse, one challenging factor is to maintain the right cold storage temperature for the product stored inside. This has to be done without compromising on the warmth of the personnel and equipment so as to let them function at optimal capacity.
Frozen and Refrigerated food items account for the majority of the food items that are stored in the cold storage facilities. This is not it! Cold storage also plays an important role in other industries such as petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and high tech electronics. Since the demand for the cold storage is at an alarming rise, there is a need to come up with strategic solutions that can help in keeping the product cold without affecting the operating costs.

Problems faced in cold storage and their solutions

1. Effect on the equipment
Cold often takes a toll on the equipment used as well as the people involved in keeping the product inside the frozen four walls moving.

There are a variety of ways in which you can maintain the efficiency even in an extreme working environment. The buttons that can be seen on the scanning devices of the cold storage facilities are huge enough to be felt via gloves. Its touchscreen is sensitive enough to respond to a glove touch without compromising on the accuracy of the information.

2. Effect on the batteries
Low temperature might also hamper the performance of the battery in these handheld scanning devices. Constant exposure to such a temperature may result in a degradation of the battery life by up to 40-50%. So the matter of the fact is, how long will any device run before it decides to give up on the temperature?

To cater to this, almost every device that is used in the cold storage are designed with the seals which successfully withstand the temperature changes right from the ambient conditions to the freezer which can cause the condensation to build up.

3. Effect on the Electric lift trucks
In the low temperature environments, the average life cycle and the rate of charge of a lift truck battery can be hampered by as much as 20% to 50%. This means that a battery which lasts for about 8 hours in an ambient cycle will only last for 4 to 6 hours in the cold storage.

The only solution to this problem is using the higher voltage batteries so as to improve the run time. So, if you use a battery that is rated for 12 hours in the ambient conditions in the cold conditions, it will operate only with a cycle reduction of about 25%.

Best Practices for Managing cold storage

Here are few practices that will help you in better management of your cold storage.

1. Conquering the alternating temperature ranges

In a cold storage, energy savings is a recurring concern. We all know it is far more expensive to cool the air than to heat it. Moreover, different products might have a different temperature requirement.
For instance, vegetables need a temperature of 55°F, meat needs to be store at 28°F, dairy products at 34°F and ice cream needs a temperature of –10°F.

So, this can be quite a challenge for the third party logistics (3 PL) who may have clients all across the year with variable storage requirements. Moreover, in a cold storage environment, re-configuring the space is just not simple as it would have been in a conventional warehouse since you have to take temperature into consideration.

All warehouses that may need multiple temperature zones or where a mix of products that are stored change with the season, usage of modular curtain wall system may seem flexible. Take note, the refrigerated air can be expensive so after you make one change to the wall or a room, the cost savings is realized.

2. Opt for automation to avail savings

The cost of labor, land and energy is increasing at an alarming rate. This is the reason why the operators of the cold storage warehouse are on a lookout for automation so as to be able to control the cost. There are a variety of automated point solutions that can help reduce the escalating operational costs. In some cases, automation can also reduce the energy requirements by as much as 80%, space requirements by as much as 50% and finally the labor requirements by about 70%. Such savings can be realized in a number of ways.

3. Maximize the cube with dense storage

Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are not new to the cold storage warehouses today. AS/RS offer a high density, rack supported storage. This aids in deep and tall designs that help maximize the cube of the facility by minimizing the footprint.

4. Control heat loss

High density storage tends to create a smaller area to cool. It also develops an environment that can minimize the heat loss. Since rood is the one of those areas in a cold storage where the air can escape it will be rewarding to keep this area as small as possible.

5. Automate palletizing

Accredited to the advancements in robotics, Palletizing is one area of operation in the cold storages. Since last many years, the manufacturers of the frozen products have been faced with a challenge of palletizing their frozen products in a manner that is efficient and cost effective. Because of the limitation in the robotics, earlier the products had to first come off the freezer to be palletized and then put back into the freezer. This trip back and forth in the freezer led to the introduction of the ambient air when then had to be cooled.

Final Say

These are few of the best practices that can help all the frozen product managers effectively manage their cold storage warehouses. Do let us know, what you think of these practices, in the comment section below!

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Top 10 supply chain and warehousing trends in 2016

In every industry, there are certain trends and patterns that keep changing every year. For the year 2016, there are some special trends as well. The complete industry has become more efficient and inclined to technology. We can also predict the future of this industry through the trends that we see in the current year. These trends comply to an economic as well as technological perspective. Let’s see the Top 10 supply chain and warehousing trends for the year 2016.

Strategies have become Omni channel

Omni has been derived from the word Omnis that means universal or all. So, Omni Channel means a multi channel approach to sales which aims to provide the customers with a seamless shopping experience irrespective of where the customer is shopping from. Meaning, whether the customer is shopping from a brick and mortar store, a mobile application or a desktop website, the experience he gets ought to be flawless. So, in an Omni channel environment, the customer gets a unified customer experience and it is also easier to manage them. All the strategies that the companies are applying comply to being Omni channel as it is the approach that they are taking towards the market. An Omni channel strategy shall ensure proper inventory optimization, product availability and timely fulfillment.


Reduction in labor to cut costs

This is a trend that is growing in all the industries. Technology has become more prominent and it is leading to reduction in labor. It also facilitates cutting of costs and which in turn makes the final product available to the consumer at a lower price. This trend shall continue to grow in the foreseeable future until technology has the upper hand. Minimum wages keep increasing due to new regulations and hence, lower the number of labor, lower will be the cost of handling and managing them.

Smartphones dominate big time

Smartphones are like portable computers in our pockets. They have the power to handle multiple vital tasks simultaneously. The shipping and warehousing industry is moving towards smartphone applications instead of traditional tools that are outdated. This was a much needed change that we can see happening this year. It can also help track individual performance metrics and provide solutions to complicated situations.


Big data analytics have helped in planning and optimization of the inventory

Big data analytics has become an important resource to plan and optimize the complete inventory in the warehouse. With the help of big data, one can create lean and balanced supply chain that will be highly efficient. It also helps in improving workflow and ensure better floor space utilization which is quite important as well. The technology of big data analytics is improving and we will hopefully see big changes in it in the coming years.

Electronic Data Interchange is still a growing trend

More and more people are subscribing to Electronic Data Interchange and thus it continues to be a growing trend. In the past, many companies didn’t use EDI and they did face consequences. Most of the companies are now resorting to EDI as it is difficult to exist without it. It will also be a huge trend in the future and many companies will start depending on it.


Security of the data has become important

Security is of prime importance no matter which industry it is. Top notch organizations have made their data security quite strong so that no malpractices happen. Data plays a huge role in supply chain and warehousing management thus its security is of great importance as well. Companies have also introduced new levels of data encryption for the same.

Traceability is on the rise

FDA and government regulations have become stricter. In the pharmaceutical industry too several policies and regulations are enforced and this trend will go on for several years to follow. There thus needs to be perfect traceability of where the product exactly is on real time basis.

Collaboration is influential

Organizations believe that collaboration and working together will benefit both the parties and it will be a win win situation for all. Due to collaboration, efficiency improves in a significant way. The systems will become fully integrated which will also help in reducing the overall time and costs. This trend is just getting started and hopefully with more knowledge of it, companies will start adopting it.

Cloud infrastructure is gaining importance

Cloud computing has been one of the best innovations in the recent times. It facilitates real time syncing of all the data to everyone involved. Even in the supply chain and warehousing industry, cloud infrastructure is getting more importance compared to the previous years. Many large and small companies have started using it for the benefits it provides.


Complexity is increasing

Even though big data analytics is solving a substantial problem, the levels of complexity in the supply chain and warehousing industry is increasing rapidly. Due to this, companies have to become more creative and make each and every process understandable to the people working there. Only when everyone can understand the process without any hassle, the complexity will be solved. This trend will most probably keep growing in the near future.

Final Say

These are the top 10 trends that have been noted in the supply chain and warehousing. In case, there is anything else that you think is more important than what is listed here, do let us know in the comment box below.

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wholesale dc

5 reasons why Wholesale DC’s struggle in fulfilling e commerce orders for fashion brands

Most Wholesale Distribution Centers are incredible at the shipping and receiving apparel at the case level in a rather inexpensive and quick manner. This expertise however does no good in helping them prepare for all rising requirements of the e commerce fashion brands.

Here we have listed 5 key reasons why wholesale distribution centers struggle in fulfilling e commerce orders for the fashion brands.  

Product Storage and Shipment

The wholesale distribution centers are adept in storing and shipping the case level quantities of the products however e commerce fulfillment demands the warehouses to segregate and break down the case of the goods. When it comes to fashion garments, putting them away to facilitate their pick and pack can often be a difficult, expensive and a time consuming affair for most DCs.

Presentation of the orders

The wholesale DCs know, understand and acknowledge the massive difference in the packaging parameters as well as the labeling requirements of a fashion retail and the wholesale accounts. Though demanding and specific, these standards differ from the ones that are prerequisites of the e commerce consumers. Fashion orders are presentation specific and involve tissue papers, boxes of different colors, shapes and sizes, stickers, etc. Thus, in order to please the fashion consumers, a DC would need a completely different set of packaging material that might have never been used in the wholesale orders.  

Volatility of the order

The wholesale DCs are one step away from the end customers. They are used to longer lead times, regular shipping schedules and ship by date orders. On the other hand, the e commerce fulfillment operations do not have such an exemption. Every order shipped by them reaches the customer directly. This direct connection that e commerce orders have with the customers leads to higher order volume volatility. It therefore gets hard for the wholesale distribution centers to be able to keep pace with the quick volume fluctuations thereby making them incompetent to deal with the end customers.

Accuracy of the order

Order accuracy is of course a common ground for both e commerce and wholesale order fulfillment. However, there is a massive difference in the intricate details that lie within. When it comes to the wholesale fulfillment there is no direct contact between the end customer and the warehouse. The wholesalers deal with the stores and the stores deal with the consumers. So, in times of error, the customers are not affected directly. Such is not the case with e commerce order fulfillment. Here, any and every order fulfillment error may account for the dissatisfaction of the customers. For the e commerce customers, it is imperative for the brand to communicate with the customers.  

Return order

Last and definitely the most important aspect of the e commerce for the fashion brands is returns. Trend says that as many as 20 to 40% of the items ordered get returned. So, unlike the wholesale returns, the e commerce returns go straight at the distribution centers in the order packaging that may have not more than one or two units. Thereafter, every returned packaged is examined and carefully inspected so as to examine whether the seller will accept the returned items or not. Aspects such as – how long ago the item was purchased, is the item worn, are the tags in place, etc are checked. Once the seller accepts the returns, the fulfillment center has to place these items back in the inventory.  On the other hand, the Wholesale Distribution Centers are not used to tackling the returns that demand such intricate detailing. Neither are they accustomed to handle thousands of small packages on every day basis.  

Final Say

The wholesale distribution centers as well as their processes are thus not designed to cater to the demands of the e commerce fulfillment for the apparel and the fashion brands. Thus, it is imperative to find a partner who understands the expectations of the fashion and apparel customers as well as the unique process of order fulfillment in e commerce.

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tune up warehouse

Learn How You Can Tune up your warehouse?

The coming few years are again going to have a significant role in the shaping up of the logistics industry. With the help of globalization and liberalization, the global economy is far more connected. Directly or indirectly, this has led to the expansion of 3 PLs, the Distribution Centers as well as the improvement in the working of the warehouses. However, this in no way means a reduction in the competition. A lot of your competitors have already begun working for this new world. This can be well proved with the recent transformations taking place in the industry. Few examples of these changing trends have been compiled by us here.

Increment in Distributed Order Management and Omni Channel

  • Enabling processes and technology to optimize the fulfillment on the basis of expectation of customers’ with an object of minimizing the costs.
  • Linking the technology across different supply chain nodes

Greater Collaboration, Visibility and Flexibility

  • Increase in the use of ASNs, flow through processes as well as cross docks so as to improve inventory turns.
  • Collaborations of Distribution centers, competitors, suppliers and stores so as to include embedded distribution centers with VAS, suppliers, co packing, etc.
  • Flexibility in TMS/WMS architecture
  • Full order or shipment life cycle tracking

Widespread use of Predictive Analysis

  • Utilization of the real time and historical data so as to ensure better labor planning and inventory positioning.
  • Supply chain segmentation with regards to competitive advantage Vs. Cost Center involving massive use of predictive analysis.

On the whole, the opportunities created in 2016 and beyond are certain to ensure a more rigid competition backed with significant change. Taking all this into consideration, now you have to analyze what exactly can a warehouse do so as to ensure that it is pepped up enough to seize the upcoming opportunities. Let’s take a look at 5 tips to Tune up your warehouse

5 Points to Ponder

Analyze the Profitability by Account

The base of tune up is to improve the warehouse in all those areas that matter the most. So, what is more important than the profit margins of your warehouse? Hence, the first tune up is to have a detailed understanding of all those activities that help in making your business earn substantial profits on every day basis. Of course, here you also need to consider the areas that account for the maximum cost. To be able to understand this in the best manner possible, you must understand the complexity as well as the size of every individual customer. For this, let’s just break up the total customer revenue into 4 key sales categories that are used by Third Party Warehouses.

  • Storage
  • Handling
  • Prepaid Freight
  • Materials

True, some warehouses track the revenues in even more detail however, these four categories and in particular two i.e. handling and storage, account for the maximum revenue. These two are hence most crucial for the success of a warehouse. So, after you have segregated the revenue earned from these 4 categories, you need to access the cost that you need to incur for earning the revenue. On comparison, you’ll be able to calculate the profitability of the account.   

Evaluate Staffing

You cannot deny that the performance of your employees has a massive impact on just about every aspect of the business operation. Thus, an effective tune up should involve a thorough evaluation of every member in the payroll. This evaluation should involve both hard cost assessment as well as soft cost assessment.

Hard Cost Assessment

When it comes to hard cost assessment, you first need to evaluate the average labor rate for the operation of the warehouse. This needs to be compared with the Average Billing Rate. So, when the Average Billing Rate is more than the Average Labor Rate of the warehouse, the difference that you get is your profit margin.

Soft Cost Assessment

Soft Cost Assessment includes the following areas:

  • Quality of Training
  • Commitment of the staff
  • Effectiveness of Scheduling

After you have gathered your data, you must compare them so as to reach on to your profitability findings. This will help you understand, where you are and where you ought to be.

Self Analyze your Processes

The third tune up tip is to conduct a detailed analysis of every process involved so as to see if it can be improved further or not. For this you must ask yourself some questions. These are:

  • Is this process necessary?
  • Is it redundant?
  • Can it be eliminated via automation or technology?
  • Is the process inefficient or poorly designed?

Beyond this, in your analysis you must consider whether there are any other variables that could be hampering the efficiency of your processes. This would involve everything right from the location of the key components across the warehouse to the configuration of the internal space of the warehouse.

A close and detailed analysis of all the processes would reveal different opportunities that can help in improvement of these processes thereby accounting for overall profitability.

Checks on Physical Assets

It is true that the financial aspects of the physical assets are largely fixed. The matter of the fact is these costs are significant and must be examined closely. So, whenever you want to make an investment in any new asset or location, you know it is going to be one expensive affair however not investing in the same may prove to be a lot more expensive in the long run. So, before you analyze whether an investment is needed or not you must analyze where you are today and where you ought to be in the future.  For this you need to consider:

  • Warehouse Location and Space

Size and the location of the warehouse is definitely an important aspect of your business. These can also be costly to upgrade as the expense of relocating can be massive and leases are usually long term. The larger picture is that moving to a new location can definitely be fruitful in the long run. So measure the choices before finalizing on anything.

  • Warehouse Equipment and Automation

Possessing state of the art equipment is definitely one quintessential way to improve the efficiency of the warehouse. But making an investment in every new equipment and technology will definitely be pricey. So, you need to analyze when is it the right time to make an investment. To answer this, you must return to tune up tip 3 i.e. Self Analyze your Processes.  

Upgrade your technology

Technology is definitely one of the most powerful, fastest and cost effective means to upgrade the overall performance. So, an absolute assessment of the technology that you use is the final and the most important tune up tip for your warehouse.

For this, you must first fully understand the requirement of your system. This would involve understanding what are the tasks that you want your systems to perform and what are the tasks they are already performing. You have to analyze this from a financial perspective too. In case the system is falling short, it may be a little costly for you.

A lot of warehouses fail to utilize the technology to its full capabilities so, first you must contact the system provider to understand the completely capabilities of your systems. If you are using the system to its full capabilities, you must upgrade to the latest version of your existing version and if in case you are not using it to its full capabilities, you must begin using the same to its full potential.

Final Say

Above are the 5 most important tune up tips for your warehouse. These exercises are definitely going to prove viable in the long run so do implement them in your warehouse, right away!

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