As supply chain directors, we have designed, opened, closed, moved and outsourced warehouses to adequate logistic services to the needs of the companies we have worked for.
The right investments in warehouses or distribution centres should generate competitive advantages for the company. Some key questions to be able to design logistic networks are:
- What is the standard service level in the market?
- How has service level evolved in the last years?
- What is the expected evolution of service level in the next years?
- How the company’s service compares to competitors’?
- What are client service level expectations regarding assortment, lead-time and cost?
- What are competitors’ client service level expectations regarding assortment, lead-time and cost?
- What is the expected evolution of client expectations regarding service level in the next years?
- How can a variation in logistics service level modify the competitive position of the company in the market?
- What processes and assets must be kept at the company and what ones should be outsourced?
- What departments are getting benefits from warehouse operations? How would a variation in warehouse operations impact on those departments?
Some key questions to design a warehouse are:
- Is stock required?
- How many different items will be stored?
- How much stock will be kept by item?
- How many receptions will be processed in a year?
- How suppliers will send goods? Pallets, boxes, vrac?
- What inspection process will be required?
- What kind of items are going to be stores?
- Are there dangerous goods?
- Are there specific norms related to the products to store?
- What traceability information is required?
- What is the average time goods will stay in the warehouse?
- What operation model is going to be used?
- How many orders will be prepared on a daily basis?
- What kind of orders are going to be prepared?
- How many transport companies will be involved?
- How seasonality will affect workload along the year? And within a week?
- How can the operation model and logistic flows evolve in the next years?