DSC Logistics uses labor management to get the job done

3PL leader DSC Logistics revved up productivity with conventional processes driven by a labor management system.
image

(Above) Jim Chamberlain, director of industrial engineering.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
September 17, 2010 - MMH Editorial

At Modern, we love automation. There is a wow factor about high-speed sortation, automated storage and retrieval systems, and automated guided vehicles. But we’ll let you in on a dirty little secret: The vast majority of warehouses, plants and DCs still get the job done with the same tools that have been serving the industry for the past 60 years, like pallet rack and lift trucks, all jazzed up with RF-driven picking.

Well, the same is true for thirdparty logistics providers (3PL). For a 3PL, it’s easier to bring in a new client when there’s no conveyor and sortation bolted to the ground, and it’s easier to scale labor up or down if demand spikes or contracts than it is to have idle automation. And, with 3PLs working on razor-thin margins, getting the most productivity out of those basic tools is important to winning new business and keeping existing customers.

That’s why DSC Logistics began rolling out a labor management system (RedPrairie, 877-733-7724) in 2005. Given the importance of labor to DSC’s business, the goals for the system were relatively simple, says Jim Chamberlain, director of industrial engineering. “As a 3PL provider, labor is the biggest component of our business,” Chamberlain says. “Our ability to manage that labor could be seen as a differentiator.”



About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


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

Materials handling among fastest-growing segments as 2015 orders increased 14% in units and 11% in dollars over 2014's record year.

Prevent unwelcome and unpleasant surprises in a new installation or upgrade that can cause setbacks in your schedule and budget.

MagneMotion specializes in intelligent conveying systems used in automotive, general assembly, packaging and material handling applications.

Certification enables participants to build and sustain a maintenance program, establish KPIs, increase productivity and build a problem-solving culture.

Estimate comes in higher than the 10-year average of 2.7%, but falls short of the NRF’s 2015 estimate of 4.1%.

Article Topics

· Warehouses · RedPrairie · Labor Management · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.