Critical Warehouse Metrics

Critical Warehouse Metrics

Each year, we excitedly await the results of one of the largest warehouse metrics studies in the country.  The Warehousing Education And Research Council (WERC) has released its report for the year, and the survey revealed some of the most important metrics and new points of research that every warehouse manager and operations director needs to know.

Top Warehouse Metrics and Changes in the Supply Chain in 2017

One notable difference this year is the large increase in director-level interest

Almost 32% of respondents said they report to a director in their organization. Those who report directly to the “C-Suite” and the Board of Directors decreased 19% from last year. This change may be related to driving accountability down the chain of command to where the work gets done.

The Retail industry segment is the largest demographic base for the study in 2017

This is a notable change as in prior years it has been manufacturing, which is third in this year’s study. The second largest industry demographic is 3rd Party Warehousing.

Respondents were asked how goods moved through their DC

The majority of facilities (68.0%) are picking cases rather than pallets. Partial pallet operations continue to slide—decreasing over 17% from last year’s study. The gains, while small, were to broken case, full case, and full pallet picking.

Since the beginning of this study, on-time shipments has held the top spot for #1 metric with one exception, in 2009 on-time shipments was #2…

Well, the mighty have fallen from grace, as on-time shipments is the third most used metric this year. The biggest change is average warehouse capacity used is #1 and order-picking accuracy is #2. See Table #2. Also, five new measures made the list this year:

  • part-time workforce to total workforce
  • overtime hours to total hours
  • contract employees to total workforce
  • inventory count accuracy by location

Considering the changing demographics of the study, a shift from manufacturers representing the largest industry to retail, these changes should not come as a surprise. We have noticed the disconnect between companies stating that employees are critical, but utilizing very few employee metrics to manage those employees.

Happier, more creative employees drive better results in every warehouse. And by using modern technology and learning from the best-in-class warehouses studied in this report, you can drive cost-savings in turnover and improve your culture in 2017!