Five Fulfillment Fundamentals
• Outstanding performance is recognized by either rewarding workers who exceed standard performance with merit wages or by implementing an incentive system.
• Finally, in well-run operations, line managers share a sense of urgency and zero tolerance for poor productivity. They maintain a laser focus on key performance indicators of their departments. Typically, the managers generate a "dashboard" of key indicators each morning, with weekly and monthly summaries for upper management. The specific metrics depend on activities being measured, but in general, I'm talking about workload and staffing projections vis-à-vis actual results, labor costs per transaction, transactions per hour and operating cost as a percentage of net sales.
In short, organizations that focus on optimizing the five basic building blocks to superior fulfillment — location, facilities, people, processes and management — will provide markedly better service and experience substantially lower unit costs than those that don't.
Bill Spaide is a partner in the management consulting firm of Spaide, Kuipers & Co., which has provided operations management and information technology consulting services to more than 300 direct marketers, retailers and distributors during the past 15 years. He wrote this article at the request of Catalog Success editors. Contact him at (610) 668-8296 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.