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Improving the reliability of warehouse operations in the 3PL industry: An Australian 3PL case study

Dieu Ho, T.H.; Daniel, J.; Nadeem, S.P; Garza_Reyes, J.A.; Kumar, V.

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T.H. Dieu Ho

J. Daniel

S.P Nadeem

J.A. Garza_Reyes


Warehouses play an important value-adding role to provide a competitive edge to any organization, and support business growth and efficiency throughout their supply chains. This paper explores warehouse operations (i.e. receiving, put away, picking, packing and shipping) and a series of challenges faced in managing warehouse operations in general and the 3PL industry in particular. Especially, the paper analyses the warehouse and logistics operations of an Australian 3PL company. By utilizing a mixed method approach both qualitative and quantitative data was gathered through in-depth interviews, direct observations and warehouse operations records. The collected data were then analyzed using thematic analysis. The data was screened and coded to further develop major themes to identify the problematic areas. This analysis helped to identify issues in operations related to the receiving process, missing, picking and locating items as well as human errors. While multiple approaches could be utilized to improve the operations, there yet remained a major challenge to manage operations within the planned budgetary limits. This research, therefore, provides some solutions/recommendations to improve the case company’s warehouse operations through staff empowerment, management process improvement, order dispatch and return process improvement, improvement in record keeping, and recruiting more personnel. These recommendations ensure company’s efficiency while balancing its challenges both in operations and budgetary constraints. This study thus provides an evidence to improve the reliability of warehouse operations through systematic process improvement.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) International Conference 2018
Start Date Dec 14, 2018
End Date Dec 16, 2018
Acceptance Date Dec 5, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 11, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
ISBN 978-1-5386-9500-5
Keywords warehouse operations management, logistics, 3PL industry
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : (c) 2019 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other users, including reprinting/ republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted components of this work in other works.
Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) International Conference 2018
Contract Date Mar 11, 2019


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