5 Ways Distribution Centers Can Kick Off 2019 on the Right Foot

Distribution Centers Kick Off 2019The modern supply chain would look much different without distribution centers. Whether they fulfill for single companies or for multiple retailers, a distribution center faces multiple challenges that can impact their operations. Staffing issues, inventory control, and shipping and receiving are just a few of the daily tasks that can determine whether a distribution center is successful or in search of new management.

However, there are 5 ways that a distribution center of any size can begin the new year on a positive note. In the information below, we’ll outline 8 best practices that can reduce mistakes, accidents, improve communication, inventory control and more.

Safety Is Number One

One of the biggest impacts on the efficient operation of a distribution center is onsite accidents. Whether it’s due to employee negligence, equipment failures or visitors who trip and fall, a lapse in safety protocols and programs can increase the risk for accidents. In the distribution center, several items can lead to accidents including moving equipment, frequent lifting, and bending, sharp objects, or unsafe working conditions. To this effort, in order to kick off 2019 on the right foot, a distribution center should place the safety of their facility as their leading concern.

Be Proactive about Routine Service & Maintenance

To ensure operational efficiency – a distribution center needs to keep their mechanical equipment running strong. The best way to accomplish this is to activate a strong and frequent routine service schedule. Whether it’s making sure your forklifts are properly serviced, or your loading dock equipment, the smart distribution center places an emphasis on routine service on all equipment.

Don’t Shrink Your Theft Reduction Programs

Many retail security experts indicate that a leading time period for employee-related theft is shortly after the new year. Whether it’s the allure to steal valuables in order to pay off debt from holiday or other reasons, January through March often see a rise in theft from distribution centers. While pre-employment background checks have improved in recent years, when it comes to employee theft, it’s vital to stay proactive with your theft reduction programs as the new year arrives.

Upgrade Technology Scalable  

While many distribution centers receive or set their budgets on a calendar year, which tends to spark a lot of technology-based upgrades. It’s well understood that many modern technology solutions like cloud-based TMS programs can help improve the operational efficiency of any distribution center. However, it’s important to integrate technology on a scalable basis. Doing so offers distribution managers many benefits including:

  • Save time and money: Taking a scalable approach to new technology training allows a distribution center to spread your training across your employee base without negatively impacting your business operations. This can save you time and money as you can allocate your training through multiple weeks and months.
  • Permits you to improve training programs: A scalable approach also provides you with the flexibility fine-tune your training programs. By receiving input from employees, managers, and other stakeholders, you can improve the efficiency of your training programs to reduce mistakes upon activation.

Set Up Monthly Shipping Reviews

The new year is a great opportunity for distribution managers to set up monthly reviews of their shipping and receiving programs. Whether it’s completing freight invoice audits, reviewing service records of carriers, customer delivery standards, or shipping and receiving payroll and safety reports, staying on top of your shipping department’s efficiency on a monthly or even better – weekly basis can help a distribution center team find errors, make corrections, and save money in the future.

When you speak with most successful distribution center leaders or CEO’s of larger retailers who rely on the efficient operation of their distribution hubs to maintain efficiency, one item they all believe in is seeking help from experts instead of taking risks. For distribution center, retailers, or manufacturers who operate in the supply chain, working with a professional 3PL or third-party logistics provider can help you streamline your logistics programs.

Third-party logistics providers have the ability to help your company integrate technology, fine-tune or operate the complete supply chain functions, even assist with warehousing and inventory control. If you’re looking to focus on daily operations, payroll, maintenance, and safety to reduce the potential of accidents, mistakes, and those unexpected expenses – reach out to an experienced 3PL.