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Tips and tools

To meet SLAs without cutting into profit margins, managers need to be able to quickly identify underperforming labor resources and process bottlenecks. So, how do you do that? Our experts have identified 10 simple ways companies like yours can identify operational inefficiencies and address them before they impact the bottom line.

Nothing beats a good blog post to introduce you to breakthrough technologies and fresh thinking about new material — all within a quick two-minute read. Based on traffic to our website, we’ve selected the 10 most popular blogs entries we’ve published in 2018, including mini-articles and case studies that are as relevant today as the day they were posted. 

Continued growth forces retailers to refine logistics capabilities to handle the requirements of e-commerce order fulfillment. Automated sorters are the lifeblood of a fulfillment center, providing the most efficient solution to move inventory through the facility. But with myriad sortation systems out there, how can operations choose the right one for their needs?

As automation becomes ubiquitous in modern distribution operations, proactive system maintenance is critical to maximize asset performance, uptime, equipment longevity and return on investment. 

Conveyor is conveyor. That might be the thought while touring a sophisticated distribution operation with miles of roller conveyor, but various technologies have many subtle differences in order to transport items with built-in accumulation functionality. Conveyor features and functionality can vary greatly by manufacturer and application, but in general, accumulation conveyors can be broken into three high-level categories – each with its own balance of throughput, control and investment level.

Rising operating costs and omnichannel requirements are changing the retail store landscape. To improve profitability, retailers are seeking to improve the accuracy of inventory visibility, employ more agile order-building processes and drive labor cost savings across the store network through better planning and execution monitoring. Many business leaders are discovering that the same processes used to control labor costs in warehouse and DCs are as effective in store back rooms and other order fulfillment scenarios.

With order fulfillment and replenishment activities accounting for up to 65 percent of total warehouse expenses, labor management software (LMS) proves invaluable in offsetting escalating labor costs. From increased efficiencies, accuracy and throughput to reductions in errors, training time and turnover, LMS repeatedly demonstrates its ability to transform omnichannel fulfillment operations.

Attracting and retaining a productive, engaged workforce are two of the greatest challenges distribution center (DC) operators face. As previous generations continue to exit the labor pool, they leave a vacuum that's being filled by millennials who bring a unique set of values to the workplace. Employers must appeal to their desires for autonomy and meaningful employment, making sure they feel empowered and know the worth of their contribution to the company's greater success.

The months of November and December are more critical to your retail distribution center (DC) than any other time of the year. As consumers make a run on retail stores and websites in search of the perfect holiday gift, a lack of preparation can spell certain disaster for your operation. 

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