Ten Optimisation Opportunities | FORTNA

Ten Optimisation Opportunities for Operations in 2023

As we move through the first part of 2023, it is a great time to investigate new opportunities to grow and streamline your operations. Here are some of the top ways to optimize this year and beyond.

by Brad Anderson

Get an Optimisation Assessment

What better way to kick off a new year than getting a third party optimisation assessment of your current operation? Benchmark capacity and throughput to get a data-driven snapshot of your current practices, opportunities and potential risks. Improve on-floor and system processes, inventory control and labour management.

For instance, FORTNA employs its proprietary tool, FortnaDCmodeler®, which quickly provides insights from an operation’s data, getting fast results and helping optimise your facility.

Start Slotting

Are you running your inventory from a spreadsheet or do you have a warehouse management system (WMS) that doesn’t have slotting functionality?

Slotting software provides one of the simplest and quickest returns on investment (ROI) for your warehouse. Slotting is storing (slotting) products strategically in the warehouse, considering their physical characteristics, turn times, seasonality and groupings. (How often do two products get ordered together?) This stand-alone software can lead to higher productivity, decreased picking travel time and distance and reduced breakage.

Become Data-Driven

One of the most repeated quotes comes from business management expert Peter Drucker: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” He added, “If you don’t measure, then how do you know how you are doing?”

Becoming data-driven is crucial to any operation, as it is the only way to know how your operation is performing, where your improvement opportunities are and whether you can optimise or automate. Becoming data-driven by integrating intelligent software like a WMS or a warehouse execution system (WES) can provide real-time data for daily decision-making, as well as historical and seasonal business intelligence.

Reclaim Lost Capacity

With the recent economic uncertainties and geopolitical unrest, many operations are looking inward for improvements and optimisation. One of the main drivers is how to reclaim lost capacity within their facilities. While some might believe that capacity is a simple calculation of open floor and vertical space, actual capacity is a complex analysis that addresses an organisation’s distribution centre network, physical space, layout, throughput, reserve storage and utilisation.

Read more about how FORTNA used two approaches to assist companies in identifying and reclaiming capacity. Click here.

Investigate AMRs

You have probably heard of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) if you’ve been to a supply chain trade show like MODEX or ProMat. Like any offering in the marketplace, AMRs are now available in many different types, sizes and functions. The ability to move carts, totes or individual orders dynamically through the warehouse makes AMRs an attractive robotic solution to investigate.

AMRs have become increasingly easy to integrate into an operation and are flexible, safe and reliable. Build a robotics strategy and use case with FORTNA to help relieve labour needs and boost productivity.

Meet Your Digital Twin

Used in the manufacturing world for some time, digital twin technology has become increasingly popular in warehouse operations. Creating a digital and visual representation of your operation can allow you to run various scenarios and improvements in your warehouse to gauge their effectiveness in a virtual environment. This can be an essential tool as operations strive to get more out of their current operation, and it is a vital tool to build and prove a business use case.

Learn how FORTNA has used digital twin technology within their FORTNA OptiSlot slotting software. Click here.

Be Predictive, Not Reactive

Downtime is not a word that any operation’s manager wants to hear. While downtime costs vary from $10K to $500K per hour depending on the operation, many times the downtime could have been avoided with predictive maintenance.

By using a data-driven approach that analyzes the condition of material handling equipment with sensors that can detect vibrations, changes in temperature and sound and other factors, an operation can address potential issues and failures in real time instead of waiting for an item to break.

Move to High-Density Storage

High-volume distribution centers (DC) that continue to see rising SKU proliferation are primed to move to a high-density storage solution. An automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) and a goods-to-person (GTP) station can increase capacity and optimize the picking and storage of an operation.

This solution is attractive as it does not increase the building footprint and can be ideal for increasing speed, accuracy and efficiency.

Optimise Your Network

eCommerce shows no signs of slowing and customer demands show no signs of decreasing. Optimising a network strategy that can address fulfilment speed and order travel times can be crucial to overall distribution success.

Leveraging a tool like the FORTNA Network Strategy Tool can help you visualise and analyse different scenarios and alternatives, such as a complete network refresh or building a new distribution network.

Streamline Your Spare Parts

While not as exciting as robotics or digital twin technology, streamlining spare and safety stock parts can be one of the most beneficial ways to optimise your operation. Ensuring essential parts are on hand when needed can avoid downtime, especially during peak seasonal times.

Many operations have a mix of material handling equipment, scanners, motors and controllers. Instead of going to each original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to order a spare part, utilise one site that can offer needed OEM or replacement parts and take advantage of part specialists who can help you find the correct parts and stock levels for your operation.

Click here to visit the FORTNA parts website.


Whether you are optimising your network, operation or spare parts strategies, FORTNA can be your supply chain partner. By enhancing digital capabilities, we help clients solve the most complex distribution challenges and ensure business continuity. We are an end-to-end design-build firm, delivering data-driven solutions supported by engineering expertise, intelligent software and best-fit technologies. Our solutions help improve performance, enable growth and ultimately drive profitability.

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About the Author


Brad Anderson

Vice President, Solutions Enablement

Brad Anderson is Vice President, Solutions Enablement for FORTNA and has been in the industry for 20+ years, serving in multiple industries including consulting and leadership roles. Brad has been recognised as a Pro to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine.