60+ years of operations planning and warehouse layout optimization
Too many 3PL providers operate out of distribution centers and warehouses that are outdated, inefficient, or disproportionally scaled to accommodate their customers’ business requirements. For fast-growing or high-volume customers, facility and operational constraints during a peak season can immediately impact service levels. Addressing potential issues before they impact your customers is critical to gain or maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Sedlak’s professional advisors are among the world’s most experienced and recognized experts in identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement in distribution operations. Sedlak understands that distribution operations are the backbone of success, and we’ve saved clients as much as 40 percent in distribution operating costs by addressing their material handling processes and inventory management.
Sedlak helps 3PL providers achieve operational successes that result in higher profit margins, reduced operating costs and increased customer satisfaction through process improvement, inventory efficiencies and prudent capital deployment. Our experts evaluate every aspect of operations, from space utilization to material handling processes to equipment and IT systems to a business’ workforce, and compare operational metrics to industry best practices.
For 3PL providers, Sedlak’s Distribution Operations Improvements consulting services include analysis and recommendations for:
- Facility/operational assessments
- Process audits
- Product slotting modeling
- Energy savings studies
- Productivity enhancements based on best practices
- Engineered standards
- Labor management programs
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs) development
Some Common Facility and Operational Improvements
Past distribution center and warehouse optimization assessments have yielded some common recommendations. It’s our pleasure to share them with you:
- Labor management systems (LMS): An LMS can be a smart tool for businesses with the ability to make such an investment. However, even companies without such means can boost labor performance through tactics like developing standard operating procedures.
- Routine training programs: Programs can include refresher sessions for existing employees, basic training for new-hires, and cross-training.
- Ergonomics. Employees come in all sizes, and systems are not always designed with operator ease of use in mind. Fortunately, ergonomic solutions tend to be relatively inexpensive, and can be as simple as adjusting the height of a table, buying new pick carts, or re-slotting SKUs to facilitate easier access to fast-movers.
- Slotting. Few companies use efficient slotting techniques, but there are great programs available for constant SKU/location assignment optimization. Even a basic Excel spreadsheet with relevant sales data can yield meaningful results—just be sure to include product cube in your analysis and keep it up to date. The facility and operations experts at Sedlak would be happy to help you with a simple slotting initiative.
- Save steps and reduce touches. Can you stock the pick location from receiving? Can a report or process be adjusted to more closely match the needs of the operation? What about interleaving putaway and picking tasks so that employees don’t travel through the warehouse or distribution center with an empty fork, pallet or cart? Often, basic procedural and operational changes can make a big difference.
- Lighting. Employees need good lighting to perform their jobs effectively. Cost- and energy-efficient lighting options for warehouses and distribution centers, including LEDs, are readily available and the potential ROI is often substantial, so there are few excuses for literally keeping your employees in the dark.
The path to optimized distribution operations begins with an assessment. Sedlak’s experts help our 3PL clients by developing the right improvement solutions to better serve their customers. Please fill out our contact form below, and a Sedlak professional will be in touch shortly to discuss your needs.