Warehouse Focus as the Key to Optimizing Your Supply Chain - Ruan
To optimize their supply chains, shippers should leverage warehouse innovations, implement an optimal TMS and WMS, and determine the best warehouse site.
Supply chain optimization is impacted by early recognition of upcoming industry challenges and strong solutions to those challenges, including innovating in the warehouse, implementing an optimal TMS/WMS, and determining the best warehouse site.
Q: How important is integrating your warehousing and transportation technologies?
A: Ruan uses JDA for both our WMS and network design needs. RTMS2.0, Ruan's customized transportation management system technology, combines JDA with Oracle Transportation Management, our logistics software, and TMW, our dedicated fleet operations software, to provide our customers with a customized platform to best fit their needs. The integration of these three systems gives our customers visibility to their product during all stages of handling. JDA is at the forefront of this integration and will be vital to implementing the technological advancements the warehousing industry will be experiencing in the coming years.
More important than the software itself is the team of experts we have on staff to operate these applications. This team allows us to configure the JDA technology however our customers require, whether that includes cross docking, kitting, subassembly, and much more. Having our own in-house team to operate this WMS means we are not reliant on a third-party organization; instead, we can provide our customers with flexibility and real-time data, as well as cost savings.
Q: How does a company determine the best warehouse location?
A: Similar to the rather tight capacity the trucking industry is facing, available warehousing space is also becoming increasingly slim. In some markets across the U.S., there is little to no available warehousing space, so working with experts on site selection is key. My experience, along with that of my Ruan colleagues in different segments of the country, coupled with our powerful technology, helps us find the best existing facility or build site to optimize our customers' operations.
The country is also experiencing low unemployment rates, adding another challenge to running a successful facility. Ruan has the benefit of operating more than 300 locations across the country, so we are well-versed in what the local workforce seeks in an employer. We have found that attracting professional warehouse workers requires a competitive wage, modern technology, and a strong emphasis on worker safety.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the warehousing industry in the next five years?
A: Staying abreast of the latest available technology will be important in the next few years. This includes investing financially in the best software and machines, obtaining and training team members to operate the technology, and having the ability to maintain the technology. Available facility space and labor will also be a significant challenge.