Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


After pilot program, slotting solution takes flight

Rolled out in 18 months, software helps distributor improve productivity by 35%.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 22, 2011

The 5,100 employees and 55 distribution centers of Owens & Minor allow it to provide medical and surgical supplies to more than 4,500 hospitals, integrated healthcare systems, alternate care locations and government agencies across the country. A few years back, the company recognized a need to upgrade its systems and solutions, as well as practices within the distribution centers.

“We were manually slotting the top 500 SKUs based on the frequency of picks,” says Charlie Winnagle, director of corporate operations at O&M. “This was difficult to keep current. At best, we updated annually.”

The company piloted a slotting solution at one of its facilities and according to Winnagle, “The results were incredible.” The site saw a 17% pick-up in productivity after adopting the slotting plan, and moved forward with a company-wide rollout.

The 18-month rollout required consideration of things like x/y axis, rack placement and slot size by type (bulk, handstack and small bin). This system allowed operations to create an active data map of each DC.

“We managed training the trainers, IT integration, capturing data for maps, and everything else in the time we wanted,” says Winnagle.

Following implementation in all facilities, productivity has improved by 35%. “Not all of the improvement can be attributed to the software,” says Winnagle. “However, we recognize that it played a pivotal role.”

Karma Logistics
651-631-8622
http://www.karma-logistics-inc.com

More Technology Coverage

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Pick or sort? It may seem like a simple decision, but in reality, you need to take multiple factors into consideration when choosing a strategy to meet rapidly expanding retail fulfillment needs.

R. Keith Harrison, former global supply chain executive, to provide CPG expertise.

Company's total managed square footage to increase 10% to 7.5 million square feet.

The relationships between third-party logistics (3PL) service providers and shippers are seeing ongoing developments due in large part to the continuing emergence and sophistication of omni-channel retailing. That was one of the key findings of The 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released by consultancy Capgemini Group, Penn State University, and Korn/Ferry International, a global talent advisory firm.

Annual survey illustrates optimism resulting from increasing profits.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA