@ Supply Chain Management


How does your warehouse stack up?

Logistics Management has a new article titled – How does your warehouse stack up? by Maida Napolitano. The survey was conducted jointly by Logistics Management and Gross & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in materials handling and logistics – First Annual Warehousing Trends Survey.

The survey was designed to help today’s warehouse managers get a clearer picture of the challenges they face today and give them an opportunity to see how their warehouse operations compare with the industry average.

The composition of the survey involved:

The results of the Warehouse & DC Trends Study are based on the responses of 485 participants involved in making warehouse-operations decisions at North American companies.

The key findings of the survey are broken down along the following lines:

  • Typical Characteristics
  • Goals
  • Need for speed
  • Operations
  • Finding a solution
  • Technology

Typical Characteristics of an American Warehouse

A typical North American warehouse
is privately owned (77 percent) with either an end consumer (32 percent) or a manufacturer (26 percent) as its primary customer.

  1. is less than 250,000 square feet
  2. receives and ships a wide variety of products, such as electronics, computers and software (25 percent); paper, packaging, and office supplies (24 percent); and chemicals and raw materials (21 percent).
  3. the most common units handled are pallets (87 percent) and cartons (79 percent), with rack storage (86 percent) as the primary storage module, followed by floor storage (62 percent).
  4. Over 90 percent of warehouses still pick orders manually using carts and pallet jacks, while 20 percent have evolved to some form of mechanized picking to a conveyor.
  5. 3 percent of warehouses have fully automated picking requiring no human intervention. The typical warehouse uses some form of warehouse management system (WMS).
  6. Thirty six percent of respondents developed their WMS in-house, 22 percent purchased a stand-alone package, and another 22 percent purchased their WMS as part of an ERP module.
  7. Surprisingly, 23 percent of all warehouses still have no WMS, relying mostly on spreadsheets and order-pick sheets.
  8. 35 percent of respondents have annual budgets of less than $25,000 for continuous improvement programs and 8 percent don’t even have such a budget.
  9. Of the warehouse managers who have a budget of less than $100,000 (59 percent of all respondents), 37 percent said they would spend some of it on materials handling equipment, while 23 percent planned to invest in information management systems.
  10. Warehouse managers with budgets of $1 million or more (7 percent of total respondents) focused more of their spending on IT. Of the respondents in this category, 41 percent reported that they would spend on information management systems, while only 21 percent planned to buy materials handling equipment.

Read the rest of this entry »

About me

I am Chris Jacob Abraham and I live, work and blog from Newburgh, New York. I work for IBM as a Senior consultant in the Fab PowerOps group that works around the issue of detailed Fab (semiconductor fab) level scheduling on a continual basis. My erstwhile company ILOG was recently acquired by IBM and I've joined the Industry Solutions Group there.

@ SCM Clustrmap

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November 2006