What Story Does Your Warehouse Data Tell?

warehouse data tells a storyI completed my engineering degree at the University of Toronto in the summer of 2015 and was ready to face the real world. My background in mathematics and statistics made warehouse data and the world of supply chain a perfect fit.

In my first year as an Analyst here at LIDD, I’ve participated in many projects and made presentations to key people at incredible organizations (side note – it’s quite intimidating the first time you shake a CEO’s hand).

These companies range from a Canada-wide food service distributor and a large building supplies retailer to some of the most prominent grocery chains in North America.

Each project has been a unique learning experience, but here are some of my biggest takeaways from what it takes to succeed in the rapidly changing world of supply chain:

Secrets to success are in your warehouse data

As an analyst, I work with millions of order lines on a daily basis. I scrutinize every detail and condense mountains of information into actionable insights that drive capital investment decisions. It’s a complex and arduous process that reveals how well a warehouse is currently operating, which gaps or improvement opportunities exist. My work also helps to predict how well it will function in the future. Every piece of data tells your company’s story, which is why attention to detail is so critical.

Art & science meet on the warehouse floor

I used to think all warehouses were created equal. Over time, I have come to learn that the variables of an organization’s supply chain infrastructure (meaning its facilities, material handling & IT systems) ultimately determine its potential for success.

Basic principles and best practices apply, but there is no template for a multi-level supply chain. Every organization’s needs and requirements are unique. To adjust for this, creativity and imagination are essential to coming up with the best possible solution.

Effective distribution is a marriage between data and creativity

People have been running warehouses for hundreds of years. A myriad of layouts have been created, tested and deliberated and yet this field is still continually evolving. Just read your local newspaper and the countless articles tied to warehouse automation and e-commerce.

A warehouse layout can be done a thousand different ways, and the new shiny robots that can go inside them are really cool. But from what I’ve learned over the past year, the application of a company’s data, tied to the experience of those who operate it, will often paint the clearest picture of where to invest precious capital.

We faced an unconventional building layout while working for one of Canada’s leading retailers, but luckily we had access to accurate and predictive data. Through collaboration with the client, we implemented a creative solution that ultimately led to a 35% increase in labour and split case picking productivity. Talk about having an impact on the bottom line!

Seizing the opportunity to join LIDD’s growing team of infrastructure experts has been a wise career decision. I get to work with some very smart clients and colleagues, and it is rewarding to be part of a company that not only says they can preserve capital, but can actually prove it.

Drop us a line if you'd like some help analyzing your warehouse data to uncover what story it's telling about your company.

Blog, Capital investments, Distribution Center, e-commerce, food service, material handling, supply chain infrastructure, warehouse automation, warehouse data, warehouse layout, warehouse management system

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