Alan McDonald can. His twenty-plus years in supply chain has taken him to more than his fair share of inefficient warehouse and distribution center operations with underutilized space.
In a May 2014 Associated University webinar, Alan shares a practitioner’s approach to uncovering the critical factors that can and do make or break the warehouse operation. Based on his example of The Perfect Order – “The right quantity of the right product delivered to the right customer at the right time.” — he explains the fine line between optimizing space driven by inventory (right quantity and right product) with space needs driven by resources (at the right time – workforce, workflow process, and facility infrastructure and functionality).
Alan explores the ‘Why, How and Where’ questions that can help to accurately measure the opportunities when considering the immediate and future investments needed to keep a warehouse functioning at capacity. Of these, his ‘Why’ you need to measure question is most notable because of the directness to these points of concern:
- Know when you’re sinking
- Project when you are going to be sinking
- Know when you need more space…or less
- Justify recommendations to invest in improvements
Alan concludes the webinar by presenting storage and material handling systems options readily available in the marketplace that can reduce inefficiencies and optimize warehouse space with a very quick return on investment.
Ultimately, the takeaways from Associated University’s Optimizing Warehouse Space to Increase Efficiency and Maximize ROI webinar resonates with managers and executives of companies that operate warehouses and distribution centers — especially those facing an onslaught of expanding orders and throughput without the hope of facility expansion plans in sight.