• Retail Direct Case Study
  • Direct Distribution Optimizes Cross Docking Operations

    RetailDirect: NATIONAL RETAILER LEVERAGES DIRECT DISTRIBUTION’S EXPERTISE

    Direct Distribution optimizes cross docking operations to improve speed to market and reduce logistics expense.

     

    BACKGROUND / CHALLENGES:

    Faced with explosive growth in Western Canada, a National Retailer turned to Direct Distribution for help – their long time logistic partner. Direct Distribution was faced with a number of warehousing, cross docking and outbound distribution requirements. The over-arching goal was to optimize processes to improve speed to market, improve the density of outbound freight from DC to retail outlets, and continually seek innovative ways to reduce logistic-related expenses.

    MANAGED BY DIRECT DISTRIBUTION

    • 100,000 square feet cross dock facility
    • 50,000 square feet long term storage
    • Yard shunting
    • Servicing 32 retail outlets

    PREDETERMINED CONDITIONS FACED BY ALL BUSINESS PARTNERS

    • No significant opportunity to expand delivery windows to retail stores
    • The goods included bulky and over-sized skus requiring a high degree of specialized handling
    • No significant opportunity to revise the number of required deliveries per day

    SOLUTION:

    Direct Distribution’s continuous improvement plan married together a multitude of critical inputs to drive results. First, the cross dock area underwent a highly scrutinized industrial engineered study focused on layout, staging areas and the implementation of a unique colour-coded product identifier program allowing warehouse associates immediate recognition of goods requiring route consolidation for full-trailer load shipping. This process significantly improved cross dock productivity and the colour coding process improved freight density, improved full-trailer load shipping (conversely reduced less-than-trailer load shipping). Second, in conjunction with the retail customer, enhancements were made to the Warehouse Management System protocols for the cross docking area. Upon RF scanning of the inbound goods, simple to follow information regarding material status, staging lane, and shipping date were broadcasted to the warehouse associates. This WMS improvement further enhanced operational productivity.

    RESULTS:

    • On-time delivery 99%
    • Outbound full-load trailer density increased and allowed 38% of trailers to be eliminated from the outbound delivery fleet
    • Shipping accuracy 99.8%

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