Learning Through Analysis
We perform a complete analysis of your business, including products, categories, markets, customers, labor, processes, anticipated changes, and other issues. This in-depth research, together with the information learned during the discovery process, allows us to address your objectives within a focused context, and to begin framing possible solutions. A sample of the questions or data points that we evaluate are:
Order Profiles – What does a typical order look like in terms of lines per order, pieces per line, cartons per order, etc.
Customer Service Levels – What is the acceptable service level (or in B2B “SLA”) that is acceptable to your customers? For example, if a customer orders a product on Monday before 4pm does it need to ship the same day?
Cut-Off-Times & Service Levels – Ultimately, understanding what order cut off times are allowed has a major impact on the peak hourly requirements that a system needs to support. Asking questions such as “Do we have enough time to pick the last order before the carrier truck arrives to pick up its shipment for the day?” can have a very real impact on the return on the system’s investment. For example, understanding what happens when order cut off is missed is an important question to as there are typically extra costs related to expediting missed orders the next day as to not upset customers.
How do Products Ship – Do orders leave the facility in bags or in cartons? This can have a drastic impact on the material handling and sortation design since most conveyors are usually designed to handle cartons.
Product Affinity – Do certain products typically get ordered within the same order as others – this may impact how items are stored within the warehouse or in a forward pick area.
Shipping Methods – Understanding what carriers and shipment methods are used will also help shape what the dock area of a warehouse needs to look like. Also with small parcel shipments, it is helpful to understand unique requirements, such as does a client rate shop each order or does the client pay the shipping?
Receiving – How are Goods Received? Are items received against an Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) or are they received against a hard Purchase Order (PO) as they arrive? What systems need to be interfaced with? What are the interfaces to such systems (API, FTP, etc)? Once they are received is there inbound Quality Assurance (QA) required to be performed on each inbound receipt? How is each of the items dispositioned if they are damaged and how is that information communicated back to each vendor?
Seasonal Fluctuations in the Business? – Is your business an E-commerce company that does 50X its normal sales activity on Cyber Monday, a Retail company has a season-long push starting in October and ends after the holiday’? Taking into account seasonal fluctuation and right-sizing the system is an important part of shaping the “RightFit” solution.