Best Practices for Achieving Excellence in Warehouse Operations

Author photo: Steve Banker
BySteve Banker
ARC Report Abstract

This report employs a balanced scorecard approach to identify the practices that contribute to excellence in warehouse management. A well-run warehouse is productive, safe, contributes to high customer service, and develops the skills of its purpose. It is tough to perform well in all these dimensions. In our survey, only 17 percent of respondents worked in warehouses that performed well across the board.

This report looked for best practices employed by the top-performing companies stand out from their peers. Those practices included:

  • Having a well-lit and clean warehouse

  • Paying at least 50 percent more than minimum wage to brand new employees

  • Non-financial remuneration (food, time off, etc.) for high performance

  • Use of high-speed conveyors and sortation

  • Having managers frequently monitor individuals as they do their jobs and provide positive, on-the-spot reinforcement

  • Having a continuous improvement program in place

  • Engaging in 360-degree reviews of managers

  • Providing training to managers on how to provide effective feedback to subordinates

  • Monitoring workers at least once a month to make sure standard operating practices and best practices are being used



Management clearly matters. More than half the practices that contribute to excellence relate to management techniques. Good management tech-niques can be learned – being trained in how to give effective feedback helps. And, 360-degree reviews where managers see what their subordinates say about them also help managers learn what is working for them and what is not. Further, diligence counts. A good warehouse manager does not sit in his/her office; but is out on the floor observing and interacting with people.


Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview

  • Background

  • Big Isn’t Always Better

  • A Productive, Customer Oriented DC

  • Best Practices for Top Performing DCs

  • Conclusion

  • Appendix 1: Methodology

  • Appendix 2: Survey Demographics

  • Appendix 3: Retention Data



ARC Advisory Group clients can view the complete report at ARC Client Portal on Office 365 or or New Client Portal on this website

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Keywords: Warehouse Management, High-Speed Conveyors, High-Speed Sortation, ARC Advisory Group.


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