Secrets of the Smart Warehouse
Ten ways to think smarter about distribution center design.
in the NewsState of Logistics 2016: Pursue mutual benefit AAR reports annual gains in November for U.S. carload and intermodal volumes CEMA reports October booked orders down 19.8% from October 2015 ISM semiannual report views 2017 as a growth year for manufacturing and non-manufacturing ISM semiannual report views 2017 as a growth year for manufacturing and non-manufacturing More News
The Rubik’s® Cube offers 43 quintillion possible arrangements of its pieces in search of a solution. Another type of 3-D mechanical puzzle is the distribution center “cube” or “box.” While its permutations do not extend to the nth power, they are nevertheless considerable, as the combination of architecture, mechanical systems, controls and software lead to decision-making conundrums squared and cubed.
Whether addressing the Rubik’s Cube riddle or the distribution center puzzle, the use of mathematical algorithms is key to finding a correct solution. With the latter, however, it requires more than the consistent application of complex calculations. Unlike the Rubik’s Cube, the distribution center is dynamic, with the need to adapt to changing market opportunities, competitive pressures, product mix, technology and other variables, especially those unforeseen. Data-driven analysis and metrics alone are insufficient. They must be tempered with experience in the day-to-day operation of a distribution center and its all too surprising vagaries.
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