Basic concepts and principles that need to be considered and operationalized
For a long time the concept of Warehousing was confused with Storage. Similar confusion occurred between the expressions Logistics and Cargo Transport. Thanks to the academic works in Administration, as well as the dissemination of services and products made on business websites, the technical language of the area has been better understood by the lay public. However, in order to avoid misinterpretations, let us quickly return to this controversy. Logistics is a vast area that, according to the Council of Logistics Management , can be defined as the “supply chain management that plans, implements and controls the flow and storage of products, services and related information, from the point of origin to the point of consumption, in order to meet the needs of consumers, efficiently and effectively” . Note that in this context, cargo handling and all the infrastructure necessary for it to occur is just a part of the process.
The same occurs with Warehousing (one of the components of Logistics) in relation to Storage. According to Reinaldo Moura , Warehousing is the generic and broad term that includes all activities carried out within a point (warehouses, warehouses or distribution centers) intended for temporary storage, internal movement and the distribution of materials of the most different types. Storage, on the other hand, is just one of the steps in the Warehousing flow. To be more specific, the one where the products are temporarily stored statically.
Having made this distinction, let’s continue. For Fernando Arbache, warehousing has four basic activities: receipt of goods, storage, administration of orders and shipment of products (finished or not). Another author from the Administration and Logistics area, José Luis Fernández Casadevante Y Mújica, recalls that the storage process must be rational to avoid losses and generate profit. Therefore, the entrepreneur must evaluate the following aspects:
- “ Quantity: enough for planned production;
- Quality: recommended or pre-defined as convenient at the time of use;
- Opportunity: availability at the desired location and time;
- Price: as economical as possible within the mentioned parameters .”
Taking into account the optimization of results (after all, that is why there are studies in Logistics), when defining a storage structure with its proper flow of procedures, it is necessary to pay attention to some principles, mentioned in the blog Logística e o Mundo :
- “PLANNING: planning is essential for correct storage, which implies assessing the area that will be used for the items to be stored, the physical and technical conditions for the project and respect for the safety and handling particularities required by law.
- OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY: operational flexibility requires that the storage be in accordance with the company’s activity, allowing it to have the ability to adapt to the items stored, that is, the warehouse must be adequate for the operations it will support, storing the largest number loads as possible, allowing access to the moving machines and the employees inside.
- SIMPLIFICATION OF THE STORAGE FLOW: the stored cargo flow must work in a simple and practical way, making it possible to increase productivity, with maximum agility.
- OPTIMIZATION OF PHYSICAL SPACE: the optimization of physical space is a basic need to make storage as efficient as possible, allowing it to function at its full potential using the lowest energy consumption and costs.
- INTEGRATION OF THE STORAGE WITH THE COMPANY: the integration of the storage system must comply with the needs of the company, obeying a pre-established order.
- VERTICALIZATION: verticalization in storage allows the use of structures that make adequate use of both the height and the area of the warehouse.” This is the case with a self-supporting unit , for example.
- “ AUTOMATION: automation in storage enables a better cost-benefit ratio, including lower operating costs and shorter return on invested values.” This includes a series of elements, such as robots, stacker cranes, conveyors and other mechanisms, all duly managed by a WMS ( Warehouse Management System ) software .
- “ CONTROL: storage control must be done through indicators (Key Performance Indicators or KPIs) to verify whether the applied methods are being effective or not. The warehouse must be managed with systematic control of all processes, with receipt records, physical inventory control, cargo storage time and delivery time.
- SAFETY: the storage area must be equipped with systems that can guarantee the safety of both loads and equipment and workers, who must have physical and psychological conditions for their activities.
- COSTS: all principles applied in storage must take into account the costs for storing loads, ensuring greater productivity and greater profitability for the company. ”
But does Storage have any disadvantages? Well, there are some hurdles, which need to be overcome. For Herbert Krippendorff, storage units require a great deal of financial energy, due to the initial investment in infrastructure, both in buildings and machinery, and then in maintaining the space. It also requires an administrative structure and operational staff, in addition to paying special attention to the expiry date of goods. But the advantages outweigh such challenges.
Citing Casadevante again, well-planned storage is versatile and adapts to the needs of the company. Allows a great reduction of losses, as well as handling costs. With the proper support of technology, it also ensures worker safety, increased productivity, customer satisfaction and profit growth. That is, the investments made return in the form of real gains.
Logistics specialists usually divide Warehousing into two different classifications . One of them uses the length of stay of the cargo and the space where it is located as references: Temporary, Permanent, Interior or Exterior. The other uses the installation property as a starting point. In the latter case, we have Own, Outsourced or Contracted Storage (where only the space is rented, but the labor belongs to the company).
( The text above was written using information from the sites logisticaeomundo.wordpress.com, marshipping.com.br, maxtonlogistica.com.br, revistamundologistica.com.br, diavanti.com.br and anpad.orb.br )
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