Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Week 2 Post - Crossdocking
As with many innovations in supply chain management, this post was inspired by a Wal-Mart innovation. They were among the first to pioneer the concept of “cross-docking”. This process is depicted below. This process, when done correctly, reduces the time an item spends in a distribution center. In essence items enter the distribution center already marked for a specific customer. By understanding where every package/pallet/item is going it allows the distribution center to ensure that outgoing trucks are fully loaded. But this process is most effective when the supply chain is integrated. If the company can accurately forecast customer demand then every item is marked and ready to go the moment it hits the dock. When the forecast is inaccurate this leads to inefficiencies in the cross-docking system.
It is amazing how in supply chains simple changes can lead to massive savings in time, money and resources.