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Critical Warehouse Metrics Directors of Operations Have to Know in 2017

Posted by Heather Sweet


Each year, we excitedly await the results of one of the largest warehouse metrics studies in the country––WERC DC Measures. 2017 is no exception!

The Warehousing Education And Research Council (WERC) has released its report for the year, and the survey revealed some of the most important metrics and new points of research that every warehouse manager and operations director needs to know.

If you haven't read the report yet, here's your opportunity to get the information for free. The full report investment is $450.00 on the WERC website for those interested in purchasing it, but Kenco is proud to offer our readers the abbreviated report for free!

You can download the free report here, or keep reading for the most important pieces of information:

download the werc 2018 warehouse metrics report


Top Warehouse Metrics and Changes in the Supply Chain in 2017

1. One notable difference this year is the large increase in director-level interest.

Almost 32% of respondents said they report to a director in their organization. Those who report directly to the “C-Suite” and the Board of Directors decreased 19% from last year. This change may be related to driving accountability down the chain of command to where the work gets done.


2. The Retail industry segment is the largest demographic base for the study in 2017.

This is a notable change as in prior years it has been Manufacturing, which is third in this year’s study. The second largest industry demographic is 3rd Party Warehousing. See Figure #2.

3. Respondents were asked how goods moved through their DC...

The majority of facilities (68.0%) are picking cases rather than pallets. Partial pallet operations continue to slide—decreasing over 17% from last year’s study. The gains, while small, were to broken case, full case, and full pallet picking.

4. Table 1 shows the Top 5 most popular metrics used and how that has changed in the last two years.


This year’s most frequently employed metrics were average warehouse capacity, order-picking accuracy, and on-time shipments, suggesting that customer service continues to be a top concern for warehouses and DCs. See Table #1.

5. Since the beginning of this study, on-time shipments has held the top spot for #1 metric with one exception, in 2009 on-time shipments was #2...

Well, the mighty have fallen from grace, as on-time shipments is the third most used metric this year. The biggest change is average warehouse capacity used is #1 and order-picking accuracy is #2. See Table #2. Also, five new measures made the list this year:

  • part-time workforce to total workforce
  • overtime hours to total hours
  • contract employees to total workforce
  • inventory count accuracy by location.

Considering the changing demographics of the study, a shift from manufacturers representing the largest industry to retail, these changes should not come as a surprise.


Download the full report and scroll to page #4 to see the forces that are driving the changes to these specific warehouse metrics.

One of the most important takeaways from the 2017 WERC DC Measures report is a section entitled, "It's All About the People!"

We have noticed the disconnect between companies stating that employees are critical, but utilizing very few employee metrics to manage those employees.

If you've struggled with high employee turnover, training and retaining talent, or human resources strategies, you won't want to miss this section of the report. Happier, more creative employees drive better results in every warehouse. And by using modern technology and learning from the best-in-class warehouses studied in this report, you can drive cost-savings in turnover and improve your culture in 2017!

download the werc 2018 warehouse metrics report 

Heather Sweet

Written by Heather Sweet

Marketing Content Manager specializing in project management, social media, and analysis.


We'd like to hear about your supply chain and discuss ways Kenco can help address your business needs.

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