Articles

See the list below of articles by Supply Chain Services Australia’s consultants on relevant logistics and supply chain topics.

Why Use Consultants?

Clients can get value from using specialist consultancy services for one or more of these reasons …… greater expertise; access to methodologies; outcomes achieved quicker; better business outcomes; and/or to minimise business risk. Consider the value-add of outside expertise, not just the cost.

Warehouse Design in an e-Commerce and Multi-Channel Environment: Challenges and Consequences

The rapid growth in B2C e-Commerce, and the resultant high customer service level requirements, can present significant challenges for the  fulfilment warehouse including …… warehouse location; surge in activity; warehouse layout and storage systems; inventory control and management; warehouse information and management systems; aftersales customer care; transport management; and reverse logistics. How fulfilment warehouses proactively deal with these challenges will determine the degree of organisational success in moving to the new multichannel environment.

Supply Chain Made Easy

Supply Chain should be easy. We now understand that we operate in apparently complex ecosystems.  But are they complex or merely consisting of many simplex relationships to be understood and harnessed?  The provision of time-sensitive data in the right form to the right people at the right time to sustain the right decision processes can deliver performance competitive with peers blessed with superior advantage in other areas. Supply Chain …… if it’s hard; you are doing it wrong.

Warehouse Product Slotting: The Benefits & Risks

Product slotting can have a major impact on the operation of your warehouse. The benefits of doing this well include can have a direct and positive impact on …… cubic utilisation of storage; productivity; ergonomics; customer service; and reducing inventory damage. Similarly, there are risks associated with not doing a good job of product slotting, including …… inventory doesn’t fit; inefficient use of space; cost blow-outs and productivity losses; customer service failures; and safety issues.

Where should your Perth Distribution Centre be Located? A Logistics Management Perspective

SCSA conducted a research project to answer this question, comparing 8 major industrial suburbs as the DC location. The research involved building a detailed theoretical model, to compare total transport costs, based on quantified metrics related to inbound and outbound transportation activities. The study did not consider property costs. The results showed the following ranking of suburbs ……. (1st) Welshpool (2nd) Kewdale (3rd) Canning Vale & Jandakot (5th) Perth Airport (6th) Forrestdale (7th) Hazelmere (8th) Hope Valley.

How To Save On Warehouse Rent

One way to reduce your warehouse lease cost is to use less space! But how can you do that when the warehouse is increasingly full, and busier than ever? One answer is to improve cubic utilisation. SCSA has clients who have achieved dramatic reductions in warehouse rent by looking differently at how they store and handle their inventory. Don’t assume that your warehouse rental costs are fixed in relation to the level of inventory that you hold. Look for innovative ways to improve cubic efficiency and watch your property costs come down.

Should You Take Your Diesel Forklift Inside?

SCSA recently conducted desk-top research into the potential health risks from diesel exhaust if diesel forklifts are operated inside a warehouse. The main chemical components of diesel exhaust emissions are gases & vapours; and fine particles known as diesel particulate matter. Exposure to diesel exhaust can cause both short-term (acute) and long term (chronic) health effects. Diesel forklifts are best suited for outdoor applications. If diesel forklifts are used indoors, mitigation strategies should be considered, in particular adequately specified ventilation systems.

Typical ERP Project Implementation Plan (Summary)

The 6 stages of a typical ERP Project Implementation Plan include …… discovery and planning; design and configuration; system development; testing; deployment / go-live; and post go-live. The article provides a breakdown of the key activities within each stage.

Typical ERP Project Implementation Plan (Full Article)

The article includes a detailed discussion of the stages and activities of a typical ERP Project Implementation Plan.

Achieve Real Benefits from Integrated Warehouse Design Approach

In order to achieve best business outcomes from the design of a new warehouse or distribution centre, you should follow a structured approach. First, conduct a detailed assessment of key influencers, such as …… supply chain strategy; SKU profile; transaction levels; inventory levels; growth projections; operational processes; traffic management; etc. This assessment will directly impact on warehouse design decisions, to enable you to achieve optimum business performance outcomes.

A New Warehouse Project is just a Facilities Project, Right?

The article discusses Lessons Learned from a new warehouse development project, including …… don’t treat it as just a facilities project; don’t do it all yourself;  don’t under-estimate the risks;  embrace the opportunity for change;  don’t commission a new WMS simultaneously; engage senior management; and don’t under-estimate change management.

Optimising Warehouse Storage Space: “A Tale of 2 Losers”

There are a number of ways to improve cubic utilisation in your warehouse. One simple way is to look at things differently! The article discusses a mining company’s specifications for a new warehouse. The spec called for universal access by a 16 tonne forklift across the whole of the warehouse and all of the laydown area. The spec was written this way because that’s the way the mining company always did it. SCSA determined that the overall warehouse footprint could be reduced by a massive 40%, by limiting access by the 16T forklift to only those areas where it was actually required to travel.

Typical Design Stages – Industrial Facility Project

The article provides a summarised and simple overview of the major design stages in a typical industrial facility project, such as a warehouse or workshop. The stages are …… client brief; site master plan; concept design; detailed design; and issued for construction.

CASE STUDY: Sandvik Mining's Distribution Centre

In 2014 Sandvik Mining relocated its WA distribution centre to a larger 8,000m2 facility in Canning Vale. Critical project objectives included …… increased storage capacity; increased productivity; insource storage of large SKU’s previously done by a 3PL; optimum safety outcomes; reduction in total branch cost structure; and a seamless transition without disruption to customer service levels. Sandvik commissioned SCSA to provide specialist Logistics Consultancy support to the project. “Sandvik is delighted with the invaluable contribution made by the SCSA team to this highly successful project”, said Garry Fly, DC Manager, Sandvik Mining WA.

Lean Logistics Thinking Solves Warehouse Despatch Problems

SCSA was commissioned by Laminex Group to identify operational enhancements at its Bibra Lake DC in WA. SCSA conducted an operational review, with particular focus on order fulfilment. The review applied Lean principles and considered ways to optimise the warehouse layout, workflows and operational procedures. SCSA presented 20 recommendations for enhancement. Laminex decided that the first “Kaizen” (change for the better) event would be in the despatch area. Benefits from the solution that was implemented to the despatch area are shown in the article, classified in Lean 8S terminology …… sorting; straightening; shining; standardising; sustaining; safety; security; and satisfaction.

Warehouse Safety Audits Mitigate Business Risk

SCSA has developed an extensive diagnostic tool to conduct quick and easy Warehouse Safety Audits to give warehouse operators the comfort of an up-to-date, easy to understand, and thorough assessment of safety compliance in the warehouse. The diagnostic tool includes 142 assessment questions, which are categorised under the following headings …… management systems & certifications; hazards & first aid; storage & handling; and occupational safety & training. The audit is conducted by one of our experienced consultants, who will recommend remedial actions.

Supply System KPI's in the Mining Sector

The article includes a table which shows typical inventory-related KPI’s that are used to measure the performance of Supply Systems in the mining sector. The KPI’s are grouped into 4 categories …… inventory holding; forecast accuracy; order fulfilment; and financial performance.

Eliminating Barriers to Warehouse Productivity by Embracing Lean Principles

The article is a copy of a presentation made by SCSA senior consultant, Avi Olender, to a recent SMART Conference. Topics covered include …… what is Lean; applying Lean – a set of tools; case studies – practical implementations; and how to commence your Lean journey.

How to Evaluate Alternative Warehouse Locations

SCSA has developed a structured methodology to support decision-making in the selection of new warehouse site locations. The two factors which are obviously most important in the decision process are …… property costs, and transportation costs. There are, however, typically a number of other relevant criteria which should also be considered.  The article discusses these by reference to a recent relocation case study of one of SCSA’s mining company clients. Categories of Non-Financial criteria used in the evaluation included …… site; conformance to specification; conformance to program; and experience. In this case study, the company did not select the lowest cost property.

Short Case Studies on Value Add by Logistics Consultants

Six short case study examples are discussed in the article to illustrate the potential value-add contributions that can be achieved from introducing external Logistics subject matter expertise. The industry sectors in the case studies include …… mining services; iron ore; mining; government; oil & gas; and engineering services.

How to Tidy Up your Inventory Master Data

The integrity of inventory master data files is essential to the success of any inventory improvement project. This article discusses a methodology for the development of master data protocols, particularly in relation to descriptions. Typical master data issues include …… inconsistent description frameworks; incomplete descriptions; incorrect or duplicate commodity classes and sub classes; inconsistent use of description fields; inconsistent use of the search text field.

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