Companies are making major capital investments in highly automated distribution operations to keep up with rising customer expectations and new business models. But while these distribution operations are becoming more strategically important, they are also becoming much more difficult to keep operating at peak performance, with increased demands for speed, accuracy and reliability.
These operations are custom engineered configurations of systems and automation technologies that are each highly sophisticated and complex in their own right. They need to be updated frequently, when technology and business requirements change, to continue to provide ROI. And when problems do arise, it can be hard to find the source of the problem. With high turnover and unique skillsets (electrical, mechanical, controls, software, etc.) there is tremendous pressure on the people that must keep them up and running at all times, and who are often consumed with their day jobs.
What is the Solution?
An essential part of keeping distribution operations performing at peak is having a comprehensive support strategy. It’s much more than having a number to call when there are issues. It’s taking a long-term view and creating a roadmap to make sure your distribution operations continue to perform into the future. It’s tracking back to the original business case to make sure the projected ROI is realized. And it’s having a plan to regularly assess how your business, and technology, is changing – to make sure your operations keep pace.
It’s also important to find a partner who is as committed as you are to achieving an ‘always on’ operation. A single partner who will take responsibility for resolving issues, regardless of the source of the problem. One with a comprehensive and proactive support platform. And one that can leverage strong relationships with system and equipment suppliers to get a rapid response.
Your distribution operations are a strategic component of your company’s success. You need a partnership, built on mutual trust, to make sure you have consistent excellent performance and to drive better business results.
Fortna Can Help
Fortna’s Client Lifetime Performance services help make sure your distribution operations keep operating at peak performance and continue to support your business strategy well into the future.
Client Support Center
A single point of contact 24/7/365 to troubleshoot problems and resolve issues with any part of the Fortna-installed system, regardless of the source of the problem. Expert diagnosis and troubleshooting provided by an informed resource that has access to your network, SOPs, and communication protocols.
Ongoing reviews to make sure the operation keeps pace with business changes like demand swings, new products, and new marketing promotions. Ensures that the solution continues to meet the business case and perform as expected. May include reviewing order profiles and optimizing slotting of SKUs.
Ongoing health checks, troubleshooting and tune up of mechanical and electrical systems, equipment and controls. Review and maintenance of WCS/WES controls logic to ensure sorters, merges, and system timing ensure peak operating performance. May also include review and tune-up of machine controls, GUI, hardware, scanner/scale and other components.
Education and Training
Ongoing assessments to identify skill gaps. Onsite training workshops on technical, labor and supervisory skills.
Spare Parts and Warranty
Spare parts planning and monitoring of equipment for warranty status and needed updates.
Difficult to maintain ‘always on’ operations.
Must keep operations in sync with frequent business changes.
Hard to pinpoint the source of failure when issues arise.
Specialized maintenance and troubleshooting skills are hard to find and expensive to keep.