News | March 9, 2022

National Reading Month: Warehouse Management

By Esteban Gancer DLA Disposition Services PaCE Program

Editor's Note: March is National Reading Month. Everyday reading increases knowledge and develops personal and professional skills. Throughout the month, the DLA Disposition Services Pathways to Career Excellence program participants are sharing insights from books* they recently finished. *No official Department of Defense endorsement implied.

Book image of Warehouse Management
March is National Reading Month
March is National Reading Month
Photo By: Kelly Burell
VIRIN: 220304-D-D0441-304
I read, Warehouse Management: The Definitive Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse by Gwynne Richards because of the applicability it has to the Defense Logistics Agency field site operations.

I was able to establish connections and relationships from the text to the field site visit in Jacksonville, Florida.

Warehouse Management covered various topics at great length, including the role of warehouses and warehouse managers, processes of receiving and picking, information systems, warehouse layout, storage and handling equipment, costs, performance measurement, healthy and safety, and the environment.

The first chapter introduced an interesting topic about the “7 Rights of Customer Service.” The seven rights are delivering the right property or service, in the correct quantity, to the right customer, at the right place, at the right time, in the right condition and at the right price.

It is super important to realize that all those steps are started at the warehouse. A breakdown at any of those rights (or steps) can lead to either a failed shipment that needs to be returned, an unhappy customer, or both.

Additionally, the “6 Basic Principles of Warehouse Management” was a topic that resonated with me.

The principles being: accuracy, cleanliness, cost control, efficiency, safety and security.

While all these principles are important, there are times when they can cause conflict with one another. The book explains some of these, and one to note is the conflict between order accuracy, efficiency and cost control.

Oftentimes upper management applies pressure to increase efficiency in order to fulfil more daily orders. The push for greater efficiency is often met with less accurate operations.

Furthermore, some places may not be staffed appropriately to meet those demands because of the constant need to monitor cost and labor. There is an ongoing conflict of pushing for more efficiency, keeping accurate operations and driving down costs. It is up to middle managers (warehouse management) to translate the objective from upper management into doable steps and to monitor and identify problem areas that tie into the principles of warehouse management.

I enjoyed reading this book as it gave relevant and applicable insight on how warehouses used to operate, where they are now and a glimpse into the future of warehousing and the supply chain process.

The information in the book was described and reinforced with diagrams, images, videos and anecdotes to help the reader visualize the process the text was speaking on.

The foundational and institutional knowledge gathered from this book can be beneficial to all levels of the warehousing and supply chain process and a great resource for those that choose to read and look to apply the principles mentioned in the book.

Warehouse Management: The Definitive Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse” is available through LMS/Skillsoft for DLA associates.