Portrait of a Best-in-Class Warehouse

March 7, 2008
New study says warehouse improvement is being driven by the high cost and low availability of warehouse labor.

In its recent study of more than 550 warehousing and distribution operations, analyst firm Aberdeen Group determined that the top pressure driving warehouse improvement at companies deemed "best-in-class" is the high cost and low availability of warehouse labor. While companies said to be "average" or "laggards" are hard pressed just to meet their customer service objectives, the best-in-class firms have moved beyond this struggle and are now concentrating on operational efficiency.

So how does a company achieve this "best-in-class" status? Aberdeen Group offers the following PACE (pressures, actions, capabilities and enablers) scenario to explain the process that goes from identifying a problem to identifying the solution.


  • High cost and/or low availability of warehouse labor


  • Improve warehouse throughput
  • Reduce or contain warehouse labor costs


  • Bin-level location management
  • Paperless receiving
  • Real-time put-away and stock moves
  • Order picking with mobile devices
  • Incremental cycle-counting


  • Warehouse management software
  • Wireless networking in the warehouse
  • Mobile warehouse devices (handheld computers, bar code scanners, wearable computers)

Source: Aberdeen Group

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About the Author

Dave Blanchard | Senior Director of Content

Focus: Supply Chain

Call: (941) 208-4370

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During his career Dave Blanchard has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. He also serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2010), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its second edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

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