PurchTips - Edition # 119


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Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Should Purchasing Manage The Warehouse?

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Could You Be Put In Charge Of The Warehouse?

Whether they are happy about it or not, it is becoming more and more common for purchasing professionals to be made responsible for management of the warehouse. Therefore, do not be surprised if warehouse management is added to your list of responsibilities in the near future.

To prepare for this trend, let's explore the similarities between purchasing and warehouse management.

Warehouse Purchasing

Purchasing professionals love to use metrics. And metrics are helpful in improving warehouse performance, too. Art Avery, the Principal Consultant for warehouse layout consulting firm Avery and Associates, suggests starting with these metrics:

  • Pick lines per hour
  • Orders processed per hour
  • Age of oldest unshipped order

Like Purchasing, warehouse management has many best practices. A couple best practices Avery recommends are using effective slotting tools and bar coding.

Effective slotting tools include the placement of high-volume items close to the point of shipping, use of clear slotting information under each item on the shelf, using the same slotting information on pick documents, and sorting the slot numbers into a sequence that supports a "no-backtrack" path for the picker.

Bar codes can help ensure that the right incoming product is put in the right place and that the right outgoing product is picked in the right quantities. Avery notes that "by using bar code picking, not only can you pick faster, but you can also pick with virtually 100% accuracy." In his experience, Avery has seen bar code implementations pay for themselves within six months, which leads me to the most attractive aspect of warehouse management for purchasing professionals: the opportunity for cost savings.

Avery shares that fixing an inefficient warehouse operation can produce labor cost savings of 30 to 50%. So even if you've never dreamed of being the purchasing and warehouse manager, such an expanded role may help you deliver more measurable bottom line results.

To learn more about warehouse and inventory management, consider the online course "Profitable Inventory Management and Control." Learn more by clicking here.

Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities

What does it take to become a Director of Purchasing? Carol Gissell, SPSM knows. She was recently promoted to Director of Purchasing at Quinault Beach Resort.

You don't have to wonder any more! We've updated the section of our site called "SPSM Certification Success Stories." In this section, you can watch video slide shows and listen to real-life purchasing professionals like Carol tell you how their ambition and achievements helped them have more rewarding careers.

To learn how your peers have earned what purchasers want more of in their careers – more opportunities, more respect, and more money – visit:


The Latest Purchasing News!

  • Does putting together a plan for improving purchasing performance seem like a big, frustrating job? It doesn't have to be. Next Level Purchasing is offering a limited number of select companies a FREE purchasing skills assessment and performance improvement development plan service. Are you interested in this FREE service? To find out if you qualify, complete and submit the form at www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/form
  • Are you considering a career move? Over 100 purchasing jobs preferring candidates with the SPSM® Certification are posted at www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/jobs

FREE Offer!!!

Want to learn more about today's topic? Then check out my podcast interview with Bill Dorn! Podcasts are audio files that you can listen to on your PC, download to your iPod/MP3 player, or burn to CD. Our Purchasing & Supply Management Podcast SeriesSM is a new way for us to help you succeed!

It's absolutely FREE to download the audio. Add it to your collection of great purchasing learning material!

Download This And Other Podcasts For FREE At

Free Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit

This Starter Kit gives procurement professionals like you a clear idea on what it will take to become certified. You'll get an excellent feel for what you will need to learn and how long it will take.

Click here to learn more

Included in your free Starter Kit:

  • Access to two lessons from courses that are part of the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program
  • A Certification & Training Planning Template
  • Case studies
  • A free Basic Membership in the NLPA

Together, these materials will help you decide how well the SPSM® Certification can help you achieve your career goals.

So, what are you waiting for? Begin your pursuit of a more rewarding procurement career – get your Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit now by signing up for a free NLPA Basic Membership!

If you are already a member of the NLPA, click here to login and visit the "Starter Kit" tab to access these resources.