Intermec (News - Alert) published the results of a study which revealed that warehouse and distribution centers were under pressure to control costs and increase profits. Intermec is a workflow performance company specializing in the design of data capture and information management solutions at the interface between mobile workers, assets, and customers. The study was conducted by Vanson Bourne for Intermec.
Bruce Stubbs, Intermec Industry Marketing Director for Distribution Center Operations, said, “Warehouse managers are faced with significant cost saving challenges, which means they can’t afford to let such levels of time wastage continue. Businesses should be looking at every workflow in detail on a regular basis to claim back the minutes and seconds they need to achieve these savings. As this research shows, reviewing their technology infrastructure may be the perfect place to start.”
It was found that during the study period of six months about 79 warehouse managers were tasked to save costs from existing operations. In the process of finding efficiency gains managers lost time and money owing to the inefficient workflow methods followed.
About 250 supply chain, warehouse and distribution managers were included in the sample survey population. Inefficient processes resulted in at least 15 minutes of productivity loses and considering a small- to medium-sized warehouse with 50 workers this becomes quite huge. In case of large organizations inefficiency will significantly affect productivity, said analysts.
The problem occurs when managers assigned with the task of finding cost savings have not actually embarked on the project yet to review the workflow processes in their distribution centers to improve the efficiency.
Most managers opined that inefficient workflow was experienced in packing and loading followed by picking and inventory control. From data procured from companies that have recently conducted a workflow process review it was deciphered that inventory control and picking offered more chances of cost savings than any other operation.
Saving few seconds off workflow processes can help achieve time and cost savings. This is possible by asking workers to take fewer steps to accomplish a task, investing in faster label printing and quicker barcode label scanning methods and eliminating battery changes during a shift.
Intermec recently announced Intermec Beijing Technology Co. (Intermec China), a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE). Intermec China will be able to contract with customers directly using the local currency. It also enables Intermec to import and export goods as well as purchase goods and services for use in and outside of China.
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