Key issues affecting productivity in the warehousing and distribution sector

Can you identify with some of the following issues in your own business? They’re typical of the problems brought to us by our customers in the warehousing and distribution sector.

  • Our systems are good but we have a constant problem meeting our planned targets, with wildly fluctuating performances because our targets take no account of a changing mix.
  • Our 3PL supplier believes they can’t reduce costs. We’re convinced they can so we’ve referred them to you for practical help to improve their performance and productivity.
  • I need four extra analysts to supplement my team and undertake six weeks of intensive Time Study.
Warehouse sector productivity issues

If you share similar concerns, perhaps together we can find the solution for you. We did for every one of these.

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Scott-Grant’s experience in the warehousing and distribution sector

Here are some recent examples of how we’ve helped businesses in the warehousing and distribution sector.

Example 1

A sizeable retailer with their own DC network needed structured Time Standards to establish a common database for all its DC activities. They wanted to avoid the need to re-measure in this constantly changing industry. The most effective solution was for our productivity analysts to use MOST® to structure a group-wide database with the same time data configured to suit varying products and parameters. The process of developing SOPs encouraged more consistent methods. The very specific time data was applied through their existing WMS. Accurate capacities, staffing budgets, daily operating plans were all introduced with individual performance reporting and the ability to compare each DC’s effective performance across the group, always based on a true work content. This helped to transform the inconsistent methods and attitudes and enabled better matching of resource to work content, so better performances and improved productivity.

Example 2

A national distribution business tended to operate on notional average targets without taking into account high mix variations, seasonal fluctuations, volume differences across a week, balance of work, promotional offers etc. This lack of real time standards made it very difficult to set staffing levels and capacities so a team of our Industrial Engineers and a Team Leader were assigned. The formal time standards we created illustrated the range of work content, they were configured to work with the WMS and enabled management very quickly to determine overall budget staffing levels, to prescribe accurate staffing levels across a day, week or month with combinations of known and forecast volumes. All work content for actual volumes can them be confirmed with forecast volumes and, over a period, will refine the accuracy of their short term forecasting. In all, their performances and efficiencies have increased by nearly 20%.

Productivity issues in warehousing and distribution

How to learn more about Productivity Improvement

Productivity can be improved in every department of every organisation. We offer opportunities to learn at an appreciation or awareness level, through to individual qualifications, or with guided learning on a live project in your workplace.

Some suggestions for studying productivity improvement

What to do next

If you need to improve capacity or reduce costs, or you need accurate data to determine how best to cope with change, we can provide the right way forward – cost-effectively. Remember that improving productivity is about making the better use of all your resources and vitally, making much better use of the critical ones.

Whichever business sector you operate in, the chances are we’ve helped people to address their productivity issues and improve the way they operate.

Scott-Grant can really help you improve your productivity and become more streamlined.

to help you understand more about

Productivity Improvement


to discuss how we can help



to discuss the supply of experienced and qualified

Productivity analysts