Micro Management

Qc Software Leading Provider of Tier 1 Wcs Exposes Critical Issues for Warehouse Managers

Thomas Cutler asked:

QC Software is the leading provider of Tier 1 warehouse control systems to the warehousing and distribution industries.   Since 1996, QC Software, utilizing state of the art technology combined with extensive research, development, and rigorous testing, has developed the QC Enterprise suite of products.  Designed to be modular in nature, easily configurable, and platform independent, this highly scalable solution satisfies the needs of any size warehouse. 

Kevin Tedford is a seasoned industry veteran with over thirty years experience in distribution. His worldwide experience includes Red Prairie (formerly McHugh Software International) where he was one of the original partners, and Forte Industries where he served as Vice President of Technical Operations. In 2005, he founded KT Consulting, LLC. During his career, he has helped companies achieve distribution related operational efficiency and productivity goals through the appropriate use of material handling automation equipment, information systems and business process improvements.  Recently QC Software, the leading WCS (warehouse control system) provider published Tedford’s response to some of the critical issues facing warehouse managers today.  According to Tedford, “Warehouse managers are measured by their ability to get the right product to the right customer, at a service level that meets customers’ requirements or their company’s policy. This translates into having the right amount of inventory in stock, ensuring accurate picking and delivering these services within a certain cost/product ratio. Problems occur when the business environment fluctuates. Your company may be growing or declining or the nature of your company’s orders or products may be changing. It’s not just the number of orders, but the number of lines per order and quantity per line that has an impact. Perhaps, marketing has decided to offer customized products, so now you have to add value-added services to the distribution center, such as gift wrapping, gift certificates, etc. Providing these additional services requires a whole new business process.”

There are many different factors that could affect a warehouse manager’s performance. Some believe the simple solution just to add more people, however Tedford suggests, “Warehouse managers are looking at the easiest way to solve a specific problem. If your business is growing and volume is increasing, you may think the obvious solution is to add more employees. Or it could be adding a whole new operation in the facility, such as value-added services. The way in which a warehouse manager reacts to the problems could be correct from a micro perspective, but there comes a time when you need to step back and reevaluate the whole business process in the warehouse to determine if there is a better way to meet your high level objectives at the lowest cost. After all, the goal of a warehouse is to be a low cost operation, while meeting or exceeding customer service targets.”

Tedford also noted there are certain actions that warehouse management can take that will have a significant impact, notable, “If the cost of operations and the cost per unit are starting to increase, it’s probably the result of the law of diminishing returns. If you double your business and double your workforce, productivity may not double. The key thing is to recognize that there is a problem and address it before business suffers. First, you need to measure what you’re doing today, so after your business changes you can determine if you’re doing any better or any worse. Second, is to recognize that your metrics have changed. If they are increasing, you need to start looking at modifying your operational methods. This can be achieved in many different ways. Perhaps, there is a business process that needs to change, or introduce new or updated business software, or maybe material handling automation is the right approach. The key is to recognize that there is a problem, and take action to change the way you operate to reduce cost.”

QC Software, Inc.

Jerry List 

 (513) 469-1424


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