• 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?

    This white paper presents top metrics from the 2019 Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) DC Measures Report, and highlights best practices and factors that can help you best leverage your lift truck fleet and elevate to best-in-class status.

    The 2019 WERC Report revealed a new top 12 metrics reported from warehouse professionals.

    Top 12 warehouse operational metrics

    1. Order picking accuracy
    2. Average warehouse capacity used
    3. Peak warehouse capacity used
    4. On-time shipments
    5. Inventory count accuracy by location  
    6. Percent of supplier orders received damage free
    7. Order fill rate
    8. Percent of supplier orders received with correct documentation  
    9. Dock-to-stock cycle time
    10. On-time ready to ship
    11. Part-time workforce to total workforce
    12. Cross-trained percentage

    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 2019 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. >=92.54% Slight boost from 92.5% in 2018, indicating more efficient use of warehouse space.
    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% Down 0.1% from 2018. Although performance dipped slightly, the metric remains a priority.
    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 First time this metric made the list in four years, with the same best-in-class measure, indicating renewed emphasis and consistent performance.

    *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