Which is more important to a distribution center, a good transportation system or a plentiful workforce?
Is there a trade-off between the level of workforce and transportation technology? Are they mutually exclusive? Why...why not?
On a related subject, as you will soon see, multimode distribution is rapidly becoming the thing in SCM. How many modes for distribution can you name? What are the challenges for a multimode depot or warehouse, for examples?
A distribution center is an automated warehouse built to receive products from manufacturers and suppliers, take orders, complete orders efficiently, and distribute products to customers quickly. Distribution centers are devised to move goods to their destinations rather than just as a location for storing inventory. The transportation system and workforce both affect the company's pricing of products, delivery performance and the condition of the products the customers receive.
Transportation systems rely on the flow of information to function effectively. Information such as customer transactions, billing, shipment and current inventory levels are related to the performance of the transportation system. A plentiful workforce is not necessarily a good workforce. Employees typically only work 40 hours a week, they demand benefits, health insurance, require training, and might be disruptive at work. Too large of a workforce can cause overcrowding at a distribution center, leading to accidents. Without the information required for a good transportation system, a plentiful workforce will not be able to function efficiently. As a result, a good transportation system is more important than a plentiful workforce to a distribution center.
A good transportation system that is well-implemented will reduce the necessity for a large inventory, and hence reduce the workforce required; however, simply having a large workforce is not likely to reduce the need for transportation. This is the trade-off between the level of workforce and transportation technology. A plentiful workforce and transportation technology are not mutually exclusive. Even when technology abounds, workers will still be needed to work in the transportation industry. The company will still need to hire workers to provide customer service. A balance in both the level of workforce and transportation technology are ...
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