Retail Distribution Operations Improvements

Retail Distribution Operations Improvements

Acheive supply chain management excellence through operations improvements

Too many retailers operate out of distribution centers and warehouses that are outdated, inefficient, or disproportionally scaled to accommodate current business requirements. For fast-growing or high-volume companies, 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 your 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 retail distribution operations. Whether your business is large or small, Sedlak understands that your distribution operations is the backbone of your 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 Delivers Operational Success and Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Sedlak has helped scores of retailers, both large and small, 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 your operations, from space utilization to material handling processes to equipment and IT systems to your workforce, and compare your operational metrics to industry best practices.

Our assessment process is designed to identify key operational challenges, uncover potential savings and build a business case for any modifications to your facility layout, systems, labor, utilities, transportation and inventory. Our recommendations are sound and practical – we don’t seek change for the mere sake of change – and our assessment report will prioritize solutions based on cost, benefits and ease of implementation. It will also provide steps for execution. We have helped clients streamline their distribution processes, increase efficiencies and capacities, achieve higher productivity levels, reduce costs, and even extend the useful life of their facilities.

For retail clients interested in implementing a formal labor management program, our experts conduct time studies and develop engineered standards and standard operating procedures for each operational activity. We can help you implement a labor management system (LMS) for tracking and reporting.

Retail Distribution Operations Improvements Services

  • 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 retail 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.

Contact Us

The path to optimized distribution operations begins with an assessment. Sedlak’s experts help our retail clients by developing the right improvement solutions for their operations. Please fill out our contact form below, and a Sedlak professional will be in touch shortly to discuss your operations improvement needs.

Contact Us Today

Fill out my online form.