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HOW CUSTOMER FRIENDLY IS YOUR WAREHOUSE? Or what you can learn from a pizzeria

When you have read this knowledge article, you will know the requirements for an even more customer friendly warehouse.

One of your employees goes to the pizzeria to pick up the pizzas ordered for the people working late. Once there, he sees that the door is locked and that there is a queue of people waiting on the pavement. As soon as one customer comes out, another may go in. A door attendant shows your employee to a window. The window is not yet free so your employee has to wait in the waiting room. As soon as there is a place, he may sit down on the chair in front of the window waiting for the assistant. Unfortunately, she did not have much time and your order still has to be prepared. Your employee has his own bags and the assistant fills them. Salad at the bottom, cans of coke on top and a broken sachet of sauce somewhere else. Right, well that’s done, but your employee still cannot go back to the office. He has to queue for the cash register first.

You will probably never send your employee to that pizzeria again
You cannot completely compare a warehouse and a pizzeria, but by looking at your own warehouse this way the improvements that could be made stand out immediately

What is it like for drivers to pick up their loads at your warehouse?
They have to report at the gate and, if there is no room, they have to wait for the other trailers to leave. The route then usually passes the drivers’ reception. They are assigned a docking bay, but often a trailer is already waiting there. Once the trailer is parked in the docking bay, it remains to be seen if it can be loaded straightaway. Is the load ready? And, is a forklift truck available to load it?  The trailer is then loaded. No account is taken of the route sequence and the driver is responsible for any damage to the load. He must keep his eye on the loading process. The conditions there are not pleasant, a lot of commotion, fast forklifts trucks with heavy loads…

Overall, it takes an average of 53 minutes* from the moment the trailer arrives at the docking bay until the moment, it can leave again.

What if that entire process only took 10 minutes?
Just as long as it would normally take to pick up your pizza order at the pizzeria. Outbound automation can realise that:

  1. Reduction of all waiting times
    – waiting time for the docking bay is shorter
    – waiting time at the docking bay is shorter due to automated just-in-time pallet picking
  2. Loads are put on the trailer in route sequence.
  3. No damage to the trailer or products
  4. Permanently organised situation so the driver can supervise. Safe and calm
  5. Paper handling on site: automated.

Extra cost benefits
If the lead time of the trailer on the terrain is reduced, you will need less surface area and fewer docking bays.

We would like to hear about your experiences. Call or mail us to discuss or comment on the above.
email: maas@a-service.nl
telephone: 0541-521206.

* source: Caroz 2014, page 14 , Data- en procesanalyse van goederenontvangst bij 13 retail distributiecentra.

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