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Paper urges companies to design flexible Distribution Centers & Material Handling Systems

Distribution center (DC) and material handling equipment (MHE) design must be flexible to meet the challenges of today’s changing business climate, according to a new paper by Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium.

Factors of DC Design Methodology
The New Rules of Material Handling in the Distribution Center paper notes that businesses can no longer assume stability when conducting strategic and financial planning.

"The financial climate is spurring more companies to cut inventories by moving to demand-driven supply chains," says Paul Faber, Principal at Tompkins International and co-author of the paper. "At the same time, Internet commerce is increasingly disruptive to traditional business models and supply chain strategies."

New adaptive material handling IT systems can help to "future-proof" DCs, such as full-featured warehouse control systems (WCS) that provide real-time data access and system intelligence.

Chris Ferrell, Director of the Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium and co-author of the paper, says DCs need to think long-term and not get hung up on sunk costs.

"A successful DC is the result of strategic thinking, a well-rounded focus on the entire supply chain, and a systematic challenge to dated concepts about DC hardware and IT application architecture," he says.

To learn more about how new business realities are affecting DC design methodology, read the full paper here www.tompkinsinc.com/bbp-report/2013/the-new-rules-of-material-handling-in-the-distribution-center

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