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Commercial Real Estate

Terry Darrow: Thinking Inside the Box

It’s officially time to buck the once-popular cliché of “thinking outside the box.” The success of today’s supply chain and logistics model relies more than ever on the efficiency of warehouse and distribution centers across the United States.
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Terry Darrow

It’s officially time to buck the once-popular cliché of “thinking outside the box.” The success of today’s supply chain and logistics model relies more than ever on the efficiency of warehouse and distribution centers across the United States.

Distribution centers often prove a differentiating factor for business and a make-or-break supply-chain asset that give companies a business edge over competitors. By exploring cutting-edge approaches and benchmarking what others are doing, you can help optimize your company’s supply chain performance.

Recently, Jones Lang LaSalle worked with Combs Produce. Our project and development services team found that the space required for Combs’ operations was 15 percent under original estimates. A combination of column spacing, clear height and shipping and receiving door locations made this space reduction possible.

Distribution centers are more than operational necessities. They’re “secret weapons” that can improve your companies’ customer service and profitability.

Here are some tips for companies to unleash their full potential—by thinking inside the box:

• Explore new storage and picking technologies and material handling equipment. They’ve come a long way and are more affordable and practical.

• Consider storage density and travel-time involved with the picking process.

• The distance a picker has to travel to get to the product can consume up to 70 percent of his/her work day and kill productivity.

• Optimize column spacing; a distribution center can reduce its footprint by just 5 percent and save up to $250,000 annually.

• Embrace improved information technologies, like “lights out” distribution centers, which drive efficiency and effectiveness.

• Warehouses that make the most from improved technology can operate with minimal staffing—the ideal is within reach.

As managing director, Terry Darrow leads Jones Lang LaSalle’s Dallas-Fort Worth industrial, supply chain, and logistics group. Contact him at [email protected].

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