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All Who Wander Are Not Lost

By Karl B. Manrodt Ph.D. | 02/01/2010 | 12:05 PM

Whether you are just beginning your journey to process excellence or have made significant strides in that direction, having a road map to your destination is always important. For those of us who may wander and lose our way having a backup plan in place is paramount to success.

With that in mind, I would like to invite you to embark on a journey with me every two weeks discussing a benchmarking road map to help you drive Best-in-Channel (or Market or Class) performance.

To begin our journey, first we must understand our location. We must define our Point A. The best possible way to discover your Point A is to assemble your data and participate in a survey. I would encourage you to participate in DC Velocity and the Warehousing Education and Research Council's Annual DC Measures Survey. To participate, click here.

By participating in this survey, you will receive a complimentary copy of the results. The results will allow you to define your Point A. Depending on your performance data you could be a Major Opportunity warehouse or a Best-in-Class warehouse.

Below is a snap shot of the performance benchmarks presented in the Annual Metrics Study. For example, if your performance for On Time Shipments is 98.3%, then you would be classified as a Typical warehouse. To zoom in, click on the image.

Survey Example Results

The Annual DC Measures Survey asks for performance data on 50 different metrics. The 50 metrics have been identified as key measures of performance by the Distribution and Warehousing industry in the first two surveys, which were conducted in 2004 and 2005. In addition to the metrics, there are questions to determine your picking operations, strategy, industry you primarily serve and annual revenues. These questions are designed to help segment the data so you can better define your competitors. For example, you can define your competitors as those with similar revenues, strategy, industry, or operations.

But what if I lost my way?!?

No problem, especially if you are a DC Velocity reader or WERC member. We have tools readily available for you. And you really haven't lost your way, you're just disoriented for the moment.

One tool I recommend allows you to continuously Track Your Stats. If you aren’t able to participate in the survey, you can use this tool to see how you stack up against respondents who answered the survey. Then every month, or quarter, go in and update your performance. Now you are able to track your performance either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The frequency at which you update your numbers is up to you.

Benchmarking is not hard. It just takes practice and a clear understanding of your desired outcomes. If you have an interesting benchmarking story to share with us or a particular question you would like us to answer about benchmarking or metrics, send the details or question to me kmanrodt@georgiasouthern.edu.

Happy Trails!

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Karl Manrodt

Karl Manrodt

Karl Manrodt is an accomplished logistics academic and author. He serves an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics and Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga. He is also co-director of the Southern Center for Logistics and Intermodal Transportation.

Prior to joining Georgia Southern, Manrodt served as the executive director or the Office of Corporate Partnerships and the Supply Chain Strategy & Management Forum in the Department of Marketing, Logistics and Transportation at the University of Tennessee.

Manrodt's acclaimed work on DC metrics, done in partnership with Supply Chain Visions, DC Velocity and WERC, has been used as a benchmark by international firms for the past six years.



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