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Comparing Your Metrics Against Others’ to Identify Improvement Areas [Part 9 of a 10-Part Series]

Comparing Your Metrics Against Others’ to Identify Improvement Areas [Part 9 of a 10-Part Series]

This post is part 9 in a series of 10 different approaches to addressing the common challenges faced by distribution centers (DCs) across a broad range of industries without investing in automation.

The eighth blog in this 10-part series exploring ways to enhance operational efficiency without investing in automation explored how frequent examinations of mapped processes and associated metrics can help to identify areas of improvement. Today’s post considers the benefits of comparing your operations against those of your peers to discover opportunities for higher productivity.

Step 9: Benchmark Performance Against Similar Operations

Comparison may be the thief of joy, but it’s also a great way to uncover opportunities for process improvement — particularly when you compare your operation’s metrics to those of similar organizations or industries through benchmarking. Many industry associations offer resources to facilitate benchmarking, as well as evaluation services that provide comparative insights.

Another way to learn more about possible areas for improvement is to engage a third party. Either an independent consultant or an equipment supplier can spend time in your facility. As an unbiased observer, these professionals can watch associates as they complete various material handling processes, identify opportunities for change, and recommend best practice approaches for warehouse improvements. 

Whether you choose to source your own benchmarking data, engage an outside reviewer, or deploy a combination of the two, be sure to maintain a holistic perspective. That is, avoid focusing solely on metrics specific to each department. It’s the end-to-end view of an operation that reveals the efficiency improvement opportunities with the biggest bottom line impacts.

To learn more about the other nine steps, download the latest Honeywell Intelligrated white paper, 10 Steps to Improve Operational Efficiency: Addressing Common Order Fulfillment Challenges Without Investing in Automation. Watch for the tenth and final step in this series: “Evaluate Current System Function.”

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