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You Might Have A Bad Warehouse If ... Things Are Way Too Peachy

By Kate Vitasek | 04/19/2011 | 8:34 AM

 PeachesThere are few things more refreshing and tasty than a fresh, firm and juicy peach on a summer day. But a bruised and in this case rotten peach is another story and as it happens, this is the subject of today’s bad warehouse episode.

It’s a little surprising how things can get lost in the shuffle when property changes hands, but it occurs in even the best-run operations. An example of this was related by Penske Logistics’ Ed Kitt, who I interviewed at the Warehousing Education and Research Council’s Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Let’s hear what Ed had to say:


It’s difficult to assess fault for an obvious oversight, after all this was a dedicated warehouse for one client. But the previous operator dropped the ball on two counts – it either lost track of its inventory (or forgot about it) or if it was aware of the peaches rotting in the back room, forgot to tell Penske about them.

WERC’s best practices guide says that companies “need to match the layout of the storage areas with the basic operation of the warehouse.” Regardless of the mission of the warehouse, “best practice companies have designed storage systems to meet the needs of the current and planned mix of storage types,” WERC continues.

Best practice warehouses also optimize their storage locations and layouts to fit the product mix. That apparently wasn’t done in this case and the problem was compounded by not telling the new warehouse operator about the peaches.

Penske of course is a WERC-certified operation. Leave it to a good guy like Ed to point out the foibles of his industry. Many thanks!

With apologies to Shakespeare, there was definitely something rotten in the state of this warehouse!

For those that want even more tips on storage, I recommend Art Liebeskind’s book How to Increase Your Warehouse Capacity. 191 Time Tested Ways to Find Space.

I really love your feedback - and love your contributions to share those bad warehouse stories to help educate the profession on what NOT to do, and maybe what to do if you’re not doing it.

If you've got an example of a bad warehouse practice, send me your story and photo(s) to [email protected]. If I feature your example in one of my blogs, WERC will send you a free copy of the WERC Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmark & Best Practices Guide (a $160 value).

Your submission can be anonymous if you like so you don't get your boss or company in trouble! I'll be collecting examples all year and the winner will receive a free WERC Warehouse Certification Assessment by Supply Chain Visions, a $10,000 value. The runner up will win a free conference registration to the WERC conference (a $1,375 value).”




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About Kate Vitasek

Kate Vitasek

Kate Vitasek is a nationally recognized innovator in the practice of supply chain management. Vitasek is founder of Supply Chain Visions—a boutique consulting firm specializing in supply chain management. She is also a faculty member at the University of Tennessee's Center for Executive Education. A prolific writer, Vitasek has authored the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' best-selling mini-book series, Supply Chain Process Standards, and has contributed to other management books as well. Along with Karl Manrodt of Georgia Southern University, she co-leads WERC's popular annual benchmarking study.

About Steve Murray

Steve Murray

Steve Murray is a Principal Consultant and Chief of Research for Supply Chain Visions, a boutique consulting firm specializing in supply chain management. Prior to joining Supply Chain Visions he held a variety of functional and management roles in the distribution and manufacturing sectors, including 15 year managing an IT consulting firm. Steve has been instrumental in development of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional's "Supply Chain Management Process Standards", the Warehousing Education and Research Council's Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmarking & Best Practice Guide" and the WERC "Warehouse Certification Program". He is lead auditor for the WERC's Certification Program.


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