Essays on Managing Distribution and Warehouse Operations Coursework

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The paper "Managing Distribution and Warehouse Operations " is a great example of business coursework.   Managing distribution and warehouse operations have been an issue that many supply chain organizations are focusing in order to do more with less. In other words, the key point is to focus on lowering the cost of operations while increasing productivity (Chen, Lu & Chang, 2003). They are demanding cost reductions in labour, shipping and space with remarkable improvements in productivity, throughput and inventory accuracy. Customers, on the other hand, are demanding compliance; value-added services and shorter delivery lead times. The companies, therefore, have been faced by a challenge to address these cost issues so as to remain competitive.

Distribution and warehousing are about careful use of space and time (Xu et al, 2003). In other words, it requires labour or person hour both of which are expensive and so one wishes to use as little of each as possible in delivering products to the customer. Warehousing and distribution departments are always under pressure to deliver value to the enterprises. At the operational level, they are focused on reducing costs and overhead, boosting productivity, improving profits margins, improving inventory and achieving greater inventory accuracy. Moreover, their success is measured by how they perform in key areas like on-time delivery, order accuracy, order fill date, throughput and cost per order.

This, therefore, calls for the implementation of elements that continue to add value to these departments so that they can ease the pressure they encounter in their operations (Saad, Jones & James, 2002). These elements to add value to warehouse and distribution operations is due to the fact that many organizations have suffered inefficiencies due to time wastage and lack of information on the location of the items.

For example, Global Transport and Logistic Company (GEFCO) is one warehouse that has implemented computerized mechanisms to handle their operations in their store. This has entirely reduced the amount of time wasted and therefore it's more valuable compared to any other store that may not have such technology. Moreover, they provide a conducive atmosphere for the workers leading to employee’ s satisfaction and protection. There are various strategies that have been used so as to eliminate non-value adding activities and addressing the business drivers that are of great importance.

Consequently, if applied intelligently, they bring an organization logistics strategy into alignment with the business strategy and help provide a competitive edge in the market sector. Time is of great importance and therefore working towards reducing time-wasting instances will add value in these operations (Roodbergen & Koster, 2001). Therefore reducing time wasted travelling is a key element. A significant portion of an order picker’ s time is spent travelling between picks (Lambert & Cooper, 2000).

For example in Aqua Warehouse, high-tech information technology has been applied to avoid wasting time. In other words, they operate under technological aspects that enable the company to deliver products in Essex Kent, Herts, Suffolk and across the UK with a user-friendly system with dispatches the same day they receive the order. Deploying methods that will reduce travel time condense the face and allowing the staffs to work smarter are very vital. This being the case, flow rack, optimized flow paths and dynamic slotting are of better options (Dyckman, 2001). In other words, having computer integrated within the warehouse management system reduces the waste involved in transporting, human motion and waiting.

Moreover, having methods that manage the flow of materials for faster, more efficient order assembly and consolidation also add value to these operations (Jones, 2001). For example, order containers should be sent only to the zones where picking activity is required is essential and can be solved by having zone route conveyor networks or even pick carts.

References

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Dyckman, Susan 2001, “On-line Assessment Tool for Better Warehousing,” in The Distributor’s & Wholesaler’s Advisor, volume 13, No.l 8, April 15,.

Dekker, H.C. and A.R. van Goor 2000, Supply Chain Management and Management Accounting: A case study of Activity Based Costing. International Journal of Logistics: Research & Applications, volume 3, nr.1, pp.41-52

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Lambert, D.M. and Cooper, M.C. 2000, “Issues in supply chain management”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 65-83.

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Nozick, L.K., 2001 “The fixed charge facility location problem with coverage restrictions,” Transportation Research Part E, vol. 37, pp. 281–296.

Petersen, C.G., 2000. “An evaluation of order picking policies for mail order companies”, Production and Operations Management, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 319-335.

Chen, R.S., Lu, K.Y and Chang, C. C., 2003 Intelligent warehousing management systems using multi-agent. Int. J. Comput. Appl. Technol., 16(4):194–201.

Roodbergen, K.J., Koster, R., 2001. “Routing methods for warehouses with multiple cross aisles”, International Journal of Production Research, vol. 39, no. 9, pp. 1865-1883.

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Xu,H., Chen, Z.L. Rajagopal and Arunapuram.,S, 2003“Solving a practical pickup and delivery problem,” Transportation Science, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 347–36.

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