Warehousing has – and is – changing. The ever-increasing consumer and business demands of the 21st century means that warehouses are constantly striving to deliver goods and services to customers quickly and efficiently. Every inch of the warehousing operation is now scrutinised to reduce error and improve turnaround time to achieve ever more stringent Key Performance Indicators (KPI). This dual-pronged pressure from both consumers and businesses means that there are a number of challenges facing the modern warehouse to create a flawless customer experience. Indeed, every aspect of the warehouse process is becoming more complex and dynamic due to five accelerators simultaneously affecting flawless fulfilment: volume, velocity, variation, verification and volatility.
Efficiency, productivity and accuracy – the 3 main goals in the warehouse have changed little over the years. But now, more than ever, there’s a need to find new ways to boost performance with 76% of warehouses planning to have more locations and be shipping more items by 2020 and the move to same-day deliveries gaining pace.
How do organizations judge the success of their warehouse and distribution center operations? They judge them on how streamlined work processes combine with fast and accurate worker output to meet and exceed customer expectations in today’s highly competitive, high-volume omnichannel marketplace. In other words, they judge them on productivity.
To succeed in today’s global economy, businesses have to play all the angles. For retailers striving for sustainability in the fast-evolving marketplace, there are a number of angles that are key to enhancing productivity and increasing revenues and profitability.
It’s all in the wrist. It’s a phrase you often hear said about professional tennis players or really good major league hitters. Hank Aaron and the late Ernie Banks come to mind. Its meaning is basically that you can achieve the result you want—acing a serve or hitting a home run—using less strength and more control.
It’s also a phrase that has much to do with maximizing worker productivity in today’s retail warehouses or distribution centers. Addressing worker productivity challenges requires a thorough understanding of the science of human factors in warehouse operations.
Have you seen the television show “American Pickers?” It features a couple of guys who travel around the country looking for cool stuff— ranging from old advertising signs to 1930’s toys to Indian motorcycle parts—in old barns, stores and collectors’ lairs. Some of the most prized “finds” are old arcade pinball machines, like a 1946 Fastball Wood Rail Pinball Baseball Game or a 1954 Williams Spitfire Wood Rail Machine.