WERC announces a new Warehouse Facility Certification Program
August 17, 2010 - MMH Editorial
The Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC) has announced a new voluntary Warehouse Certification Program that certifies an individual warehouse facility’s capabilities to perform core warehousing functions. The program provides an industry-standard grading methodology that includes a facility inspection and process assessment by an independent, trained third-party auditor.
“As the recognized leader in education and research for the warehouse, distribution and logistics industry, WERC focuses on advancing the art and science of warehousing/distribution and driving the warehouse profession to new levels,” said Michael Mikitka, WERC CEO.
In partnership with consulting firm Supply Chain Visions, WERC takes warehouse certification to a higher level. “Our new program goes a step further than ISO certification,” Mikitka told Modern. “While ISO certification establishes what an operation practices and what they are actually doing, ours determines if these practices best practices.”
First of all, the review process identifies areas of opportunity and challenges. For example, Mikitka said that a typical series of questions addressed in the certification process would ask if a facility has a warehouse management system? If so, is it common? Then, going the extra mile, how can we bump it up a notch?
Kate Vitasek, founder of Supply Chain Visions explained, “This [certification program] offers a significant advantage over ISO type certifications that simply audit that a process is performed. WERC Certification also goes beyond benchmarking studies that focus solely on quantitative metrics such as fill rate, on-time shipments or inventory accuracy. WERC’s qualitative approach provides a holistic comprehensive review and an audit based on industry standards vetted by industry pros.”
Additionally, the new program is flexible enough to provide value to all industry segments, and it’s a valuable marketing tool for companies, showing customers that they have taken extra steps to ensure the highest level of performance and efficiency, Mikitka added.
A few key facts about WERC’s Warehouse Certification Program:
*An unbiased, professional review of warehousing practices compared to industry standards.
*Help in identifying areas for improvement.
*Certification based on audits using the WERC “Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmark & Best Practices Guide,” which outlines five levels of warehouse process competencies ranging from poor to best practice and covers the common warehousing processes.
*Audits are comprehensive, yet recognize differences in industry requirements.
*WERC Certification is complementary to any quality system, such as the ISO 9000 series.
*Certification is an optional service WERC offers its members and the industry.
*The standards allow for differences in industry, customers, restrictions and product characteristics and requirements.
Click here to download a sample of the information included in an audit report.