Bridgewater Logistics, a leading South African third-party logistics provider (3PL), is constantly benchmarking its operations to drive further improvements in warehousing efficiencies.
Warehousing is an essential pillar of the company’s comprehensive supply-chain management solution. It is complemented by cross-docking, logistics project management services, as well as both line-haul and distribution transportation solutions.
“Warehousing is a critical component of logistics. It should, therefore, be given just as much focus as procurement, transportation, inventory, facilities and information management, as well as customer service in strategic planning. For this very reason, businesses prefer outsourcing their warehousing requirements to an expert in the field that is willing to constantly refine the solution,” Quinton de Villiers, managing director of Bridgewater Logistics, says.
Firstly, the warehousing team focuses on optimising labour productivity as the foundation of an effective warehouse-improvement plan. This is considering that labour is the largest cost in warehousing and picking operations.
Operations are streamlined by generating efficient picking strategies and close attention is paid to storage planning to eliminate travel time.
Importantly, warehouse managers have been trained to understand the trigger points for efficiency.
They also encourage feedback from their staff to address any problems swiftly and efficiently in regular inclusive reviews and updates. These are critical for benchmarking and constantly implementing refinements at the company’s warehouses and cross-docking facilities.
Importantly, focus is also placed on maximising the use of all available space to save on expansion costs.
Due consideration is given to storage units, as well as the correct equipment for picking and storing material and product. This is in addition to selecting the most appropriate shelving for products, while the correct choice of bins also ensures that shelves are kept neat and tidy.
Just as much emphasis is placed on ensuring that workstations have been designed to suit specific tasks to increase productivity.
Here, the focus is on keeping clutter at bay, reducing errors and improving organisation.
Importantly, this focus on warehouse layout and efficient processes ensure a safe working environment for the Bridgewater Logistics warehousing team.
“Just because products roll out on time and our customers are happy, does not mean that there is any room for complacency. The slightest tweaks to our processes have made the world of difference and kept Bridgewater Logistics in the fast lane in all of its operations,” De Villiers concludes.