Warehousing is all about providing the correct product at the right place and time without damaging the goods, and reputable third-party logistics providers (3PLs) continuously measure these capabilities to ensure optimal and sustainable operations.
“Warehousing remains a vital component of the supply-chain, and service providers who continue to excel in this specialist field ensure optimal handling and use of space, while benchmarking their service, cost and inventory. Bridgewater Logistics monitors these on an on-going basis to ensure that we continue to deliver a cutting-edge supply-chain solution,” Quinton de Villiers, managing director of this leading South African transport and logistics company, says.
De Villiers explains that handling productivity is measured as units or lines that are picked every hour, or as the total handling cost per unit.
Meanwhile, the space use at the company’s distribution centres is assessed according to the percentage of total space available for storage, or the area that is actually used for this purpose. Storage cost per unit of product is also another sound means of assessing performance in this regard.
Precision is vital in a state-of-the-art warehousing operation, and this is measured by location and record accuracy, as well as the percentage of items and orders that have been picked correctly.
Closely associated to accuracy level management is mitigating damaging items in the process. This is reflected in the percentage of items picked that are undamaged when received by the customer and the percentage of orders picked without damaged merchandise.
Bridgewater Logistics also measures accuracies in its warehousing processes by examining the fill rate. This is undertaken by monitoring the number of orders that have been filled completely and related cycle times.
For example, dock-to-stock cycle time provides a key indication of the time it takes to make material available following receipt, while order cycle time measures the elapsed time from order receipt until order shipment. Order cycle time can also include transportation to measure the total elapsed time until the customer receives the product.
Meanwhile, cost and inventory performance measurements include total distribution centre cost per unit handled, warehouse cost as a percentage of sales and inventory turnover.
“Bridgewater Logistics continues to excel in all of these areas. However, we refuse to rest on our laurels and we will be making another announcement about a large investment into our warehousing capabilities very shortly. This development will ensure that we retain our standing as a leading transport and logistics service provider in the industry,” De Villiers concludes.