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You Might Have A Bad Warehouse If…There Are Footprints Atop The Stacks

By Kate Vitasek | 09/19/2011 | 5:00 AM

Here’s another short but shocking example of a bad warehouse, this one related by Geoff Sisko, senior consultant at Jack Kuchta LLC:




Notice that Geoff prefaced his brief remarks by saying the bottom beams were “shaped like a U.” That must have been a dead giveaway that maybe the stacks were bearing too much weight, requiring further investigation. I would love to have seen the expression on the investigator’s face when he or she discovered the footprints!

You’ll find no provision in the WERC Best Practices Guide’s section on cycle count that recommends standing on stacks to perform the task. In fact it undermines the process. The guide says the “real power of cycle count is in identifying problems and resolving the root cause so that the errors do not occur in the first place.” Standing on stacks for the cycle count is most definitely an error and a problem, both from a safety and training perspective and for the structural integrity of the stacks and racks.

Cycle count is necessary for inventory accuracy; standing on the stacks to do it is not!

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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