Once you have determined the optimal distribution network, it is necessary to determine the specific sites for each of the determined facility locations. TransTech has the knowledge and experience to lead this effort to find the most economical site.
Many factors need to be considered when determining the optimal site. With inbound and outbound freight cost determined in the distribution network analysis, site selection now is dependent on many other factors. These factors include; carrier transportation network, city, county and state economy (cost of living), unemployment rates, wage rates, work force culture, real estate market and costs, tax abatements, real estate and sales taxes, insurance taxes, incentives and training programs/reimbursements. A more comprehensive list of domestic and international considerations is attached. These factors need to be investigated thoroughly before a final site can be selected.
Detailed operations procedures are written for all internal and external functional processes impacting Distribution. At TransTech we refer to this document as the User’s Logic. The User’s Logic details the operations from the start to finish in “layman’s” terms and is to be followed by supervisors, management and data processing personnel. The document describes the worker’s processes, information and product flows, and how the systems and equipment will operate to support the overall process. This document is used to develop the WMS requirements that are the basis of a software system request for proposal and/or software customization.
TransTech has implemented various types of labor management systems for the past 20 years. Some included incentive systems such as Gainsharing and others supported tracking and reporting of productivity and accuracy, and/or management labor planning.These systems have often been implemented as parts of WMS systems and as stand-alone systems.Tracking and reporting information at an individual level provides the highest level of benefit. One of the critical aspects of any system is insuring that the activities’ are measured accurately and they are compared to correctly designed/realistic goals/bench marks.
Plan view layouts and elevation drawings are completed to show process flow and equipment design. The plan view drawings are complete with dimensions, area markings, and location numbering for all aspects of the physical distribution operation. The elevation drawings clearly show how products will be stored and how the equipment will be designed for consideration of facility and mobile equipment specifications. These drawings are also used in the bidding of material handling equipment (for layout perspectives).
3D drawings are completed upon need to help clients visualize process flow and design.
Facility specifications are developed to define square feet, column spacing, clear heights, floor flatness, lighting levels, power requirements, office space needs and many other criteria. The specifications are written for Greenfield sites, expansions, or modifications to existing facilities, depending on the need. The level of detail contained within the specifications gives builders/contractors the design requirements necessary bid the construction.
The material handling equipment is designed as part of the overall distribution design process, considering processes, systems and facilities at the same time. This process uses the established design criteria and assumptions to calculate the amount and type of equipment. To obtain the maximum benefit from your planned MHE, it is critical to design and determine the requirements as part of the overall solution.
The detailed design is completed through an iterative process by the project team and management. Once completed and signed off by the team, performance specifications for all required equipment are developed. These specifications are used to bid equipment for implementation.
Often you hear of companies purchasing a WMS then changing their operation to fit within the WMS and/or TMS design.
TransTech Consulting has a proven methodology for selecting a WMS (Warehouse Management System) and/or a TMS (Transportation Management System). We will lead you through a process to ensure the correct selection and implementation.
The optimal solution starts with defining the most effective distribution operation, then searching and evaluating WMS/TMS solutions that can meet your requirements at the most economical cost. Define the processes for each functional area impacting your distribution operation, then specify the equipment, systems and resources required to support. The WMS/TMS RFP details the software and hardware requirements to support your defined operation and stakeholders, and requests for specific information to allow the project team to clearly understand the solution’s costs and benefits, and to make fundamental comparisons between the prospective solutions.
Once you have determined to outsource your distribution operations, it is necessary to find the provider that bests fits your operational and expense requirements and matches your culture. Finding and selecting the right provider requires a methodical selection approach.
It is critical to understand your objectives and 3PL requirements. Clear goals and tracking needs should be defined and documented in a request for proposal to help establish criteria for 3PL selection. The criteria include IT capability, systems functionality, distribution practices, customer service, and alliances. The RFP will insure information required to select the best-fit provider is complete and in a format to make the process accurate and precise.
Article on deciding when to outsource distribution services “To 3 or Not To 3″