It might sound as though it comes straight from George Orwell’s 1984, but John Collyer, Country Manager at Apex Supply Chain Solutions has quite an interesting take on managing assets in distribution centres.
You may have heard about the Hawthorne effect before, but essentially it's “the alteration of behaviour by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed.”So what does this have to do with managing assets in a warehouse or distribution centre?
John states: “Once you start to monitor people their behaviour changes and productivity improves. Here we’re also talking about the tracking and tracing of assets.
Intelligent automated locker systems help you track and trace lost assets through back-end software configure reports on who’s using what and how often.
Employees can book in and out assets, data on how long they used it for, and the condition it was returned in.
According the John, when employees feel they are being watched via the installation of lockers, compliance and productivity increases.
“It’s hard to track typical warehouse inventory and see what your employees are doing. Non-functional apparatus administered to the workforce is also costing businesses in time and efficiencies. “
The logic here states that if you’re not managing the assets in your distribution centre, you won’t know who’s using it and when or what condition it’s in.
In s distribution centre with a lot of devices per location, or even in a DC where employee’s aren’t respecting devices, businesses find it easier to manage their assets if devices are easily tracked and traced through an automated process.
However, John also warns that a system such as this also needs management to ‘drive the bus’ for it to be successful, as with most businesses, culture trickles from the top down.