- Plan for about a 1 – 1.5 hour tour (based on facility size).
- Have enough tour guides for the number of people attending – about one guide for every ten people.
- Ensure tour guides are well versed in warehouse operations so they can answer difficult questions from participants.
- Start tour with everyone together in a meeting room for a 15 to 30 minute general session overview.
- Have refreshments, including beverages and snacks, available in general session room.
- Potential overview presentation topics may include warehouse specifications such as:
- Daily Line Volume
- Number and Type of Customers, as well as Geographic Reach
- How Facility Fits into the Overall Network Structure
- Inbound and Outbound Transportation (DDS)
- Order Types
- Order Cut-off Times/Order Response Times
- Union vs. Non-union
- Type of Warehouse Management System/Computer System
- Inbound (Receiving and Put-Away) Work Processes
- Outbound (Picking and Shipping) Work Processes
- Recent Facility Improvements
- Provide tour participants with an overview of warehouse layout, tour stops and highlights of each stop prior to departing on the tour.
- Begin actual tour on time.
Some ideas that past tour locations have used that have worked very well were:
- Assign each individual group a different starting point for the tour to avoid congestion.
- Alternatively, stagger start times to allow smooth flow of individual groups – you don’t want one group to have to wait behind another to see a particular operation.
- Have tour guides responsible for a certain area – have groups rotate so they go to each of the designated stations and talk to the area “expert.”
- Predetermine the amount of time to be spent at each “station.” Keep in mind that time at each of the stations needs to be the same [10-15 minutes] so that all tour participants advance to the next station simultaneously. This can be done with the intercom system – session begins, session ends, move to next area, etc.
- The “experts” or speakers in each area should have some visual displays or tools for their area. They can use graphs, charts, pictures, or bulleted lists to tell the story.
- They should allow 50% of their presentation time for the presentation itself and 50% of that time for questions and answers.
- Try to schedule the tour when primary facility activity will be occurring – i.e., don’t schedule tour during breaks or shift changes.
- Reconvene in general session format for Question and Answer session.
Additionally, please let us know if there are any restrictions regarding the tour, such as:
- No cell phones or cameras
- Closed toe shoes are required
- No food or drinks
Different facilities have varying degrees of restrictions and we want to be sure that we adequately inform the tour participants ahead of time.
If you have any questions, please contact:
+ 1 508.494.0785