An initiative of Körber

Supply Chain Benchmarking

Facility Optimization

Productive facilities are the foundation of successful supply chains

Productive facilities are the foundation of successful supply chains

Careful planning of facility improvements is essential

E-commerce has completely transformed the shape of supply chains and warehouse operations. Delivery quantities are smaller, often down to single items. Product ranges are infinitely wider and customer expectations for same- or next-day delivery and easy returns have become the norm.

To meet the complex demands of both the industry and consumers, the need to optimize facilities is crucial, whether it is for a new, state-of-the-art distribution center or for the modernization of a decades-old warehouse.

Supply chain technology can help maximize productivity in both greenfield and brownfield facilities, and effectively support staff with order fulfillment.

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Key takeaways

What the survey shows, and what we can learn from it

1 of 3 respondents scored as initiating or developing

respondents scored as initiating or developing

A third of organizations lag when it comes to updating and improving their facilities

Two thirds of respondents use experience or legacy tools such as Excel to plan facility improvements

of respondents use experience or legacy tools such as Excel to plan facility improvements

Effective planning is crucial to maximizing the impact of facility improvements, yet the majority does not leverage the most effective planning tools

Two-thirds of leaders have used voice technology for 2 or more years, but only 14% of advanced organizations have done so.

versus 14% of advanced supply chains have been using voice technology for 2 or more years

Leading organizations recognize that voice can significantly improve accuracy and productivity in the warehouse – adopting it can help other organizations achieve the same benefits

Getting started

For new construction, optimization means building facilities from the ground up to enable the highest possible productivity and to allow room for future growth. For brownfield improvements, it requires addressing inefficiencies with layout changes, enhanced processes and innovative technology.

Decisions on a facility’s layout configuration and the technology to deploy are becoming increasingly complex. Using simulation and modeling tools allows careful design of improvements and enables decision makers to assess their impact and select the best scenario – before making actual changes.

Many warehouses deploy material handling equipment of different types and from different vendors, but optimizing performance of these mixed automation portfolios is challenging. A vendor-neutral WCS can orchestrate all components and optimize the material flow across the warehouse.

Innovative warehouse technologies can significantly increase productivity in brownfield and greenfield facilities. Voice solutions increase the speed and accuracy of many warehouse processes, while Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) can perform many basic movement activities, making employees far more productive. Both can scale up and down flexibly with changing order volumes.

Over the past 10 years, labor requirements in logistics facilities have doubled. At the same time, staff turnover is 10 times that of many other industries. To help combat turnover, gamification can significantly improve employee engagement. It uses gaming elements, with digital interfaces such as charts, graphs, leaderboards and incentives, to boost motivation.

How does your supply chain measure up?

Take this rapid self-assessment: gain instant insights and start determining priorities.

Our self-assessment takes just a minute to complete. It will help you determine how your supply chain performs and how it compares against other organizations. It also recommends which areas to focus on first.

Take the assessment

Take the assessment

About the supply chain benchmarking report

In late 2021, Körber Supply Chain commissioned international strategy consultancy Roland Berger to survey supply chain professionals across North America and Europe. Its goal was to benchmark the progress that companies are making against the six complexity factors. Based on their survey responses, respondents were grouped into four maturity levels:

About the report