Warehouse Network Efficiency and Productivity Improvements

At A Glance

Carlisle used proprietary benchmark data and best-in-class operational processes to assess nine facilities for a global logistics provider and make key performance improvements. The analysis and coaching that Carlisle provided over a five-year period translated into a 50% productivity increase across more than half of the warehouse focus sites and total cost savings in excess of $11M.

The Context

Global warehouses are constantly under pressure to reduce costs, improve productivity, and ship on-time with perfect quality. The need for lean warehouse management, as well as innovative and customer-centric practices, is becoming more and more essential, especially in the context of Amazon and other major players that are redefining supply chain operations.

Upon assessing that their warehouse performance was below industry best-in-class, and below industry average in many facilities, the global logistics provider desired to identify the appropriate process improvements to drive long-term, sustainable change. Carlisle’s team of Operations Excellence experts, who not only understand the dynamics of global warehouse management but who also deeply understand best practices and new strategies to drive success and results, was asked to partner with the client in the multi-year engagement.

The new partnership focused on deep evaluation of the selected focus sites within the client’s warehouse network, identification of areas of inefficiency, and implementation of effective and sustainable process changes.

The Approach

Carlisle leveraged benchmark data and industry-leading operational processes to compare the client’s warehouse operations to peer OEMs across a variety of performance metrics, including:
  • Warehouse Labor
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Customer Volumes
  • Cost

Based on the identified key areas in which the client lagged the industry, Carlisle conducted internal benchmarks to determine the specific warehouse sites that required more immediate, hands-on support. Nine warehouse sites, spanning across the US, Brazil, and Europe were selected.

Carlisle and the client then workshopped to identify operational best practices that would become the foundation of the client’s lean operations program. The identified best practices were translated into specific actions for each pilot site, as well as standard corporate-level governance techniques. Once the approach was solidified, Carlisle deployed its team across the client’s sites to provide “boots on the ground” support.

Carlisle’s on-site team worked closely with the client’s management staff to establish a customized metric scorecard and monthly performance targets based on a glide path to industry-leading performance. Carlisle coached improvements, adjusted best practice recommendations based on site-specific needs, and moderated monthly performance meetings to provide a third-party unbiased perspective. This hands-on support helped each site understand the process changes required for success and “buy-in” to the recommendations.

The Result

This engagement has driven record performance improvements in the focus sites. Method 1 and 5 productivity (metrics to evaluate lines per head per year) improved across all warehouse sites – over half of the sites have seen more than a 50% productivity increase.

Site M1 Productivity Journey
Site 1 143%
Site 2 123%
Site 3 80%
Site 4 51%
Site 5 46%
Site 6 37%
Site 7 13%


Quality has improved dramatically in focus sites as well. Most sites have seen a 28% or greater improvement in error rates, and all sites have recognized over 60% improvement in NIL picks.

This all leads to savings for the client. In total, focus sites have generated roughly $11M in total cost savings due to Carlisle’s recommendations and hands-on support.