The ABCs of Distribution Center Management

The University of Tennessee (UT) Global Supply Chain Institute recently published a report focused on warehouse best practices. The report entitled “The ABCs of DCs: Distribution Center Management: A Best Practices Overview” is the fifth in UT’s Game Changing Trends in Supply Chain series.

The research collected identifies best practices for modern distribution centers across 11 key functions:

1. Receiving
2. Picking/Order Fulfillment/Shipping
3. Lean Warehousing
4. Cross-Docking
5. Metrics and Planning
6. Warehouse Information Systems
7. Warehouse Layout and Space Optimization
8. Warehouse Network Optimization
9. Safety and Security
10. People
11. Sustainability

The paper outlines the most significant challenges distribution centers are facing and conveys creative solutions to meet the growing demand for information technology and value-added services.

The research concludes that:
–Distribution centers must be dynamic to meet customer expectations as Internet orders increase
–Cost can no longer be the sole motivator for warehouse management
–Distribution centers must adopt modern tools like advanced-shipping notices and warehouse information systems to maximize accuracy and efficiency
–Distribution center should routinely seek to optimize their networks.

The paper also provides a Distribution Center Evaluation Tool that can be used to evaluate larger DC operations.

Read the full report.