It is easy for organizations to take their warehouse operations for granted, often overlooking the functional importance of warehouses and their direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, many organizations view warehouse operations simply as cost centers due to labor requirements, equipment management, and the physical presence of working capital.
Warehouse operations are often siled from other supply chain functions, such as demand planning, sales and operations (S&OP) planning, and procurement, due to the physical distance that generally separates warehouses from front offices and the fact that warehouse operations are usually staggered by several weeks. or even months in response to planning cycles. Rapidly changing business models (via e-commerce, omnichannel, curbside pickup, 3D printing, etc.) are placing increased pressure on today’s warehouses and distribution centers to that they operate more flexibly and efficiently.
To meet these new challenges and respond effectively, organizations need visibility across the entire supply chain and distribution network, as well as a clear view of warehouse operations. Building better visibility can also enable the business to benefit from warehousing best practices that can increase efficiency, boost productivity, improve flawless order fulfillment, and promote operational excellence throughout the “last mile.” “.
Warehouses and distribution centers face an array of challenges ranging from inventory management to operational strategy to employee management and more. Some challenges arise from the introduction of technologies that impose new pressures on organizations that are not yet equipped to handle them. Other pressures arise from the impact of forced reactions and adjustments to the 2020 global pandemic.
Yet with every challenge also come opportunities.
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