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Optimize Your Shipping Department

October 5, 2023
Nick Rakovsky

Every Logistics Organization Could Use a Tune Up

In a lot of organizations the logistics is one of the last departments to get the attention of the management team. A lot of managers think “hey, these processes are working okay, no need to worry about it.” However, this is kind of a backwards way of thinking. Your logistics team is either the first or last people to see your product. This is where all the QC should be taking place. The team should know the products inside out, to make sure that your product is up to your company’s standard. Holding everyone accountable will help optimize your shipping department.

  1. Start off by having a meeting with your logistics team, this includes everyone from managers to shippers/receivers to front end staff. Let everyone speak their minds about any issues, and how they think it could be fixed. These meetings should happen on a regular basis. It would also be beneficial to invite other departments every once in a while to sit in, such as sales or production.
  2. Every so often do a walk through of the warehouse. Start off by taking your supervisor/manager through and discuss anything that’s abnormal or looks odd to you. Remember, people can’t be a pro at everything, if it looks weird, question it! This shows the person that you care about what is going on within the walls of the warehouse. It also allows for you to see what is happening. It also makes everyone care a little more about the facility, because you care. After a couple of times ask one of the logistics employees to do a walk through with you without their supervisor. This will give you some insight to what they are thinking, and again shows that you care.
  3. What are the key performance indicators (KPI) your company is using in the shipping / logistics department? Is the manager keeping any measurements of the performance of the department? A lot of time managers/supervisors don’t keep track of this information, instead they will say they are and tell you “xzy company” takes longer to load then most. However, this does not help you increase your productivity, because their is no data backing this up. Start tracking how long (duration time) it takes to load “xzy company” and other companies. You will start to see trends of why it takes longer to load certain companies / materials / items, and then start to analyze how you can improve it. You should start tracking this information for your “logistics automation”.
  • Date
  • Company
  • Shipping or receiving
  • Material/items
  • Weight
  • Dock number
  • Scheduled Appointment time – time the customer booked
  • Appointment time – truck scaled In
  • Appointment time – at what time backed into dock
  • Appointment time – scaled out
  • Team member loading

All of these can be easily automated with DataDocks, with minimal effort.

If you have any more tips for us, let us know.


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