Managing the Inbound Auto Supply Chain
A lot of logistics professionals use the terms warehouse and distribution center interchangeably. Some of them even say that “there is effectively no difference between a warehouse and a distribution center”. So, how different is a distribution center from a warehouse? Let me tell you upfront that they are as different as a modern 21st century supply chain is from a traditional supply chain.
What we’re looking for here is a logical sequence of operations within the warehouse where each activity is located as close as possible to that which precedes it and similarly.Lin Padmer, warehouse assistant, DeliverTech
Aside from considering customer service aspects, such as lead times and supply chain velocity, you will also need to think about anticipated throughput and more specifically, receiving, storage, and dispatch volumes, as well as the types of processes that will be performed in your warehouse facilities. Your distribution strategy too, will have a bearing on network optimisation.
If you are already familiar with the FAST concept in warehouse design layout (if not, see the sections below), you will know that the objective of FAST is to ensure each activity-locations are close enough together to enable smooth workflows, but not too close to clutter the process and reduce efficiency. You can apply the similar thinking to the layout of your warehouse network, although the emphasis should be more on locating your warehouses close enough to customers to support your service offering, without introducing difficulties on the supply side.