THE EFFICIENT WAREHOUSE

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Logistics is big business. So big, in fact, that it accounts for 8.2% of U.S. GDP and 15-20% of finished product cost.1  And at the core of this trillion-dollar sector is the warehouse, where minor missteps can have a major impact on the supply chain. Today’s warehousing professionals are looking to new technologies to gain the visibility they need to improve efficiency, accuracy and customer service.

Spotlight

EFL (Expo Freight)

EFL (Expo Freight) is a leading provider of freight forwarding and supply chain management solutions across the globe. Having started in Sri Lanka, EFL has grown to become one of the largest logistics companies in the Indian Sub-Continent. With over three decades of experience in forwarding & warehousing, EFL is well recognised for offering flexible and personalized solutions at the best rate and using optimised routes.

OTHER ARTICLES

For information on our commitment and Tomorrow Rising fund to helping communities recover from the Covid-19 crisis

Article | June 27, 2020

With half a million people benefited in 60+ countries, the Tomorrow Rising Fund is now focusing on education and professional training programs to secure the best future for young people and their communities affected by COVID-19. Two months after launching the Tomorrow Rising fund to support Covid-19 emergency relief in April 2020, Schneider Electric’s Foundation moves forward to support recovery and resiliency through education and training programs. The Tomorrow Rising Fund was launched to support emergency and longer-term reconstruction related to Covid-19 in all the countries where Schneider Electric operates. The Schneider Electric Foundation appealed to its leaders and employees to get involved and all their donations have been matched by the Group. Other external stakeholders and partners have also contributed.

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Schneider Electric for suppliers

Article | June 27, 2020

At Schneider Electric, meeting our customers’ expectations is a key priority. As concern over COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) grows, we are monitoring developments to this situation globally, as well as following local health and government regulations, continually assessing and responding to changes. Our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has been tested and implemented in geographies impacted. This plan includes health and safety, supply chain, lifecycle management services, and IT infrastructure. Schneider Electric operations meet the criteria of an essential critical infrastructure as defined by most governments. While we do not anticipate interruptions to our operations, local governments may require temporary containment measures. In these cases, we comply with local laws, and in most cases seek support from local authorities to maintain critical business operations as an essential business for our communities.

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3 Ways to Benchmark to Boost Supply Chain Performance

Article | April 20, 2021

You might be wondering what the benefits are of benchmarking. Well, imagine you are training for a 100 metre sprint in your district. What would be the key number, or metric that you would need to know? It would, of course, be what the winning time was when this race was last run in your district. Without that information, you don’t know what you’re trying to target. It would be impossible to know if you’ll have any chance at all of winning the race. It’s exactly the same in business. If, for example, you are concerned about the pick rates in your warehouse, or your transport costs, or your inventory accuracy, benchmarking can help you because it can show you exactly where your performance is compared to others in your industry. A few years ago, I was working with an automotive parts business. They had a little issue with their picking productivity in the warehouse. They wondered how good it was, whether they could improve it. They actually thought it was okay. We looked at the figures and compared them with other businesses. This helped us realise that their picking productivity should be three times better than it was. And believe it or not, over a few months they did begin to improve their productivity. Why? Because benchmarking opened their eyes to the fact that they were at a level quite far below others in the industry. That’s the beauty of benchmarking. Until you know what others are doing, you can’t be sure how good your performance is. If you’ve never tried benchmarking, there are three ways you could do it. 1. Informal Benchmarking This exercise would involve you measuring particular functions or aspects of your business and comparing that against other parts of your business. Let’s say you have a warehouse operating in one city and another operating in another city. You might start to measure the same metrics and see which one is performing better. You might know other people in the industry who are also operating warehouses so you might agree to share some data with them. This is probably the easiest way to start off, but it has some downsides: You’re only measuring against a very small sample size. If all of you in the pool are not that good, how would you know what good is? You have to make sure that the businesses are similar and you are measuring things in exactly the same way. It’s very important in benchmarking to have a standard way of applying the metric. 2. Formal Benchmarking This can work for much larger businesses. Perhaps you have operations in many different countries. You could agree a formal structure for how you are going to measure performance. You could do monthly or quarterly benchmarks with all the parts of your international organisation. You could learn from each other and share best practice. This method is okay but you’re not getting access to a very large pool of results to measure yourself against. You will find that companies are very reluctant to give out benchmarking data. You might also be operating in an environment where the performance is quite low right across the business. 3. Hire a Professional Benchmarking Firm This is the ultimate way to do it, although there are not a lot of professional benchmarking firms such as ours around. If you do manage to find one, you will quickly realise that there are significant benefits to be had by bringing in the professionals: The metrics are put together in exactly the same way: When we do a benchmarking exercise for our consulting clients, we go through a very robust data-gathering process and then make sure all the costs, for example, are in the same buckets as everyone else’s in the database. You gain access to a big pool of results: Professionals have measured hundreds, if not thousands, of companies. This enables you to say, ‘Our company is this size, it operates in this industry, these are the characteristics of our supply chain, who else in that pool of results is like us? We want to be measured against them.” It’s no good measuring the performance of a grocery retailer, for example, against an industrial product supplier. They have different supply chains. You need to be measuring like with like.

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How AI and automation could impact supply chain roles

Article | April 19, 2020

Innovations such as AI and automation have been tipped to kickstart the Fourth Revolution. While the technology is being widely adopted, it is constantly evolving. Therefore, there is uncertainty surrounding its overall impact, particularly on professional roles within the supply chain. Some fear that the technology will replace its human counterparts, while other experts suggest it will work in unison with humans, supporting them to focus on higher value opportunities. Amidst all of this uncertainty one thing is for certain: AI and automation will change how we operate.

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Spotlight

EFL (Expo Freight)

EFL (Expo Freight) is a leading provider of freight forwarding and supply chain management solutions across the globe. Having started in Sri Lanka, EFL has grown to become one of the largest logistics companies in the Indian Sub-Continent. With over three decades of experience in forwarding & warehousing, EFL is well recognised for offering flexible and personalized solutions at the best rate and using optimised routes.

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