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Maximize Existing D&F Operations to Meet Higher Demand

Maximize Existing D&F Operations to Meet Higher Demand

Maximize Existing D&F Operations to Meet Higher Demand

The U.S. economy is recovering quickly — and causing a new set of challenges for distribution and fulfillment (D&F) centers. D&F operators have to push through record-high volumes, while recruiting and retaining staff, and within the existing footprint of their facilities. Many D&F leaders are asking, “How am I going to find capacity to do more — not tomorrow, but right now?”

The fastest way to increase capacity is to optimize the people, processes, space and technology you already have. D&F centers need to implement smart automation solutions immediately, without costly or lengthy capital expenditure (CAPEX) projects.

But where? How? Confounding the issue is that many fulfillment processes were designed for optimal efficiency levels that are no longer adequate.

If your operations are like most others, your business has grown or evolved significantly in recent years, and some processes are not keeping up with today’s operational demands. These growing pains may present themselves as low throughput, capacity limitations, long order cycle times or order errors.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see your blind spots or opportunities for improvement that may be directly in front of you. Operational consulting (OC) experts can help you to find ways to optimize the utilization of your labor force, inventory and automated systems so you can operate more efficiently.

Take a closer look

  • How can you meet increased demand with your existing labor force?
  • Could automation increase productivity or improve accuracy?
  • Are you maximizing all of your existing real estate?
  • If you applied labor differently, would it improve employee satisfaction or retention numbers?

At Honeywell Intelligrated, D&F consulting starts with an assessment. Industry experts who’ve “walked in your shoes” look across the entire business to propose solutions that can be achieved first by optimizing your existing assets before considering new software or automation.   

Plan for change

Once Honeywell Intelligrated’s OC team outlines a recommended course of action for your facility, we help you to plan for implementation by considering potential risks and suggesting tactical opportunities to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

  • How will material and process workflows be affected?
  • How will staffing requirements change?
  • Do you need to develop new training?
  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) will define success?

At this stage, our goal is to minimize business disruption during “go-live” and speed up your time to ROI. Our operational readiness approach consists of three parts:

  • During Operational Readiness and Client Collaboration, OC teams critically evaluate the proposed material flow, process tasks, staffing and training plans. At this stage, OC teams identify potential risks, exception processes and recovery procedures.
  • A Readiness Plan Report outlines the team’s findings, recommendations and resources. The OC team provides a list of tasks that should be completed before any new systems or processes are implemented.
  • Before go-live, Honeywell Intelligrated’s OC team can provide an Operational Readiness Follow-up. In it, they review your implementation plan again to make sure the project is positioned for success.

Gain efficiency

“Out with the old, in with the new” isn’t the only way D&F managers can gain operational efficiencies. We recommend leveraging an experienced OC team to get more out of your existing people, processes, real estate and technology.

A partner like Honeywell Intelligrated can assess your operations and develop and simulate a more efficient future for your organization. To learn more about Honeywell Intelligrated’s OC process, download our brochure.

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