• Improving DC metrics

    Best practices to optimize distribution center operations and lift truck fleet utilization


    Whether replenishing retail locations or facilitating direct-to-consumer deliveries, you’re tasked with moving inventory more efficiently than ever to meet growing demand, making accuracy and flexibility imperative.

    And in order to perform as a modern supply chain operation, metrics are critical to help you identify latent inefficiencies and power through daily work and peak challenges. But what distribution center (DC) metrics are most valuable? What should you lean on to shape business strategy and ultimately drive customer satisfaction?

    The top 12 DC metrics in the 2020 Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) DC Measures Report reflect the demands of customers in the era of e-commerce - and how distribution and fulfillment operations are serving them.

    This white paper presents top metrics from the 2020 WERC DC Measures Report, and highlights best practices to help best leverage lift truck fleets for best-in-class performance.

    The 2020 WERC Report revealed a new top 12 metrics reported from warehouse professionals.

    Top 12 warehouse operational metrics

    1. Average warehouse capacity used
    2. Shipped complete per customer order
    3. Order picking accuracy
    4. Percent of orders with on-time delivery
    5. Peak warehouse capacity used
    6. Shipped damage free
    7. On-time shipments
    8. Correct documentation
    9. Inventory count accuracy by location
    10. Dock-to-stock cycle time
    11. Order fill rate
    12. Part-time workforce to total workforce

    Order and customer-centric metrics like on-time delivery, complete orders shipped, damage-free orders and correct documentation were listed in the 30’s last year, but have made their way to the top 12.

    Lift truck operations and best-in-class

    Lift truck operations identified several of the top DC metrics ranked as most important in the WERC Report, including average warehouse capacity used, on-time shipments and dock-to-stock cycle time. The table below summarizes what the 2020 WERC Report revealed as best-in-class performance for these metrics.

    Metric Description Best-in-class measure* Year-over-year trend
    warehouse-icon Average warehouse capacity used
    Average amount of warehouse space used over a specific interval, such as a monthly or yearly window. >=90% Slight decrease from previous year, indicating more challenges using warehouse capacity to its fullest potential.
    shipping-icon On-time shipments
    Percent of orders shipped within a planned time, meaning off the dock and in transit to the customer. >=99.7% Best-in-class performance remained consistent with previous year, indicating a continued focus on reaching goals for on-time shipments.
    lift-icon Dock-to-stock cycle time
    Time elapsed between the arrival of goods and when they are put away and recorded into inventory management systems. > 2 hours Second straight year this metric made the list after a four-year absence, indicating a continued priority in today’s industry climate.

    *Best-in-class operations exhibit a level of performance that falls within the top 20% of all respondents.

    Rising to best-in-class DC performance

    Achieving best-in-class performance requires both the attention and resources for continuous improvement. Top DCs strive to constantly improve velocity and accuracy, while fostering a culture of self-examination that enables warehouses to identify and remove inefficiencies.

    For a deeper conversation about achieving best-in-class performance, contact a solutions expert

    Contact your Yale® dealer