Achieving Best-in-Class DC Metrics

distribution-center-1136510_640Does your Distribution Center ship more than 99.8% of orders at the planned time? According to the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) DC Measures Report, that’s one thing it takes to be a best-in-class operation. MLHNews.com recently published an article about achieving best-in-class DC performance. Author Mick McCormick uses the WERC DC Measures Report to identify the metrics that are most valuable to business strategy and operations.

The top 10 metrics best-in-class DCs reported to drive customer satisfaction were:

  • Order picking accuracy
  • Internal cycle time
  • On-time shipments
  • Dock-to-stock cycle time
  • Total order cycle time
  • Average warehouse capacity used
  • Peak warehouse capacity used
  • Back orders as a percentage of total orders
  • Back orders as a percentage of total lines
  • Percent of supplier orders received damage free

McCormick points out that your fleet of lift trucks plays an integral role in several of these metrics. While this is true, the most practical approach to optimizing those metrics is to incorporate battery-powered tugs in with your lift trucks.

Here’s why.

Forklifts directly impact how quickly and efficiently work is accomplished. For that impact to be positive, they need to operate at peak efficiency. The author notes that two things ensure this: alternative power solutions for high equipment utilization, and proper maintenance and parts availability for increased equipment uptime.

Of course, maintenance is a factor no matter how much you use a forklift, but if you’re considering an investment in alternative power solutions to improve the reliability of your lift trucks, you have a less expensive option.

Battery-powered tugs can move tens of thousands of pounds for an entire shift without recharging. By using a tug and cart system for all horizontal movement, you spare your lift trucks the stress that would drain the batteries or create more wear and tear. This is an especially appealing option if your forklifts are older and more likely to break down.

By simply delegating some of the work to other equipment, you do more than just extend the life of your forklifts. Hooking carts together like a train enables one power tug to move a much bigger load than a forklift can. Additionally, the operator doesn’t need special training to use one. Any available person on the floor can grab a tug and effortlessly move anything from point A to B.

A tug and cart system can also streamline other processes where people need to get items moved between stations. When used strategically, a tug can be in constant use along its journey throughout the warehouse.

Load Mover Inc. can help you develop a strategy that ensures your power tug will improve your most important metrics. We build three types of tug models for the varying needs of the industry. So you get exactly what you need and know precisely how to leverage the equipment. Find out how to be more productive: 952-767-1720 or info@loadmoverinc.com.