What your warehouse costs

by Emily Atkins

Vancouver, BC—MM&D magazine and a panel of experts presented the results of its DC Cost Benchmarking study at the 2015 Cargo Logistics Canada conference on January 28.

Editor and publisher Emily Atkins was joined by Andrew Kirkpatrick from NFI Industries, Ian MacKenzie of Kit & Ace and John McKenna of McKenna Logistics Centres for a panel discussion of the DC Cost Benchmarking Study.

After Atkins presented the research study results the packed room was treated to a lively presentation, kicked off by McKenna’s demonstration of the evolution of a warehouse, depicted with tennis balls and a clear plastic box. His props made for a memorable and easy-to-understand narrative showing how cost-per-unit can creep up in your operations.

Ian MacKenzie followed with a practical discussion of labour management tips and ideas that don’t cost anything, but can dramatically improve performance and labour utilization rates. Simple tricks like having supervisors always visible—and available—on the warehouse floor are amazingly effective.

MacKenzie also talked about technology penetration, suggesting that warehouse managers should take a close look at relatively low-cost tech that is easy to implement, but can net big gains. Enabling near field communication (NFC) and the use of smartphones were just a couple of his ideas.

Rounding out the presentation was Andrew Kirkpatrick, talking about the best ways to ensure productive relationships between customers and service providers. He emphasized the importance of being ultra-clear on expectations and deliverables to ensure a smooth-running contract.

Watch for the complete report in MM&D‘s Jan-Feb 2015 print edition. For a free subscription, click here.