Global Automotive Parts Distribution Network

The company wanted a forensic analysis of their warehouse operations to determine the source of excessive costs related to implementing a new order picking, packing, and shipping process being implemented.


Determine the true cost and operational performance characteristics of a new process for order picking, packing, and shipping, and develop recommendations for improving the performance and roll-out success of the new process. Especially important was understanding the performance potential of the new process, which utilized voice picking technology and how to accelerate implementation and adoption. Operations consisted primarily in storage of automotive aftermarket and spare parts and same day pick, pack, and ship of ordered parts to local warehouses and retail locations.

Assessment revealed key issues in Pre Go-Live and conditions limiting total potential impact.


Reviewed cost and operational performance data and analyzed historical trends before and after adoption of the new process. Determined key drivers of productivity improvement in the new process and key inhibitors of productivity in the old process. Verified drivers and actual performance by interviews and direct observation at multiple warehouses. Built a mathematical model to determine potential productivity of the new process versus historical performance.

Analysis revealed 30% improvement in lines per hour pick rate using the new process where best practices were deployed.


Findings demonstrated a 30 to 50% net improvement potential for the new process in picking productivity. The improvement insights into the implementation issues and the subsequent revised roll-out plan are now in use, enabling the company to implement the new process with greater success and achieve the productivity benefits faster.


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