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Shedding Light on Energy Efficiency

You might say that installing energy-efficient lighting in five Patterson Warehouses facilities just makes “sense”.  That’s because the new “smart” LED luminaires from Digital Lumens have built-in daylight harvesting sensors that take advantage of available natural light in order to minimize energy consumption.  And similar to those freezer lights that magically light up when you walk through the frozen foods section of the grocery store, these new fixtures also include occupancy sensors so that lights aren’t on in the warehouse when nobody is working.

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Adding Capacity at Patterson

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of having distribution capabilities in Memphis, the city of 4 R’s (that’s runway, road, rail, and river).  That’s why we have continued to expand our Patterson Warehouses’ capacity beyond the the more than 1.5 million square feet we own and operate in Horn Lake and Memphis.  We’ve filled a total of 455,000 square feet of Class A space in Marathon Distribution Center in Southaven as well.

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Wider Panama Canal Good for Memphis

A widening Panama Canal is just one more reason to look to Memphis as the optimal location for distribution.   The Canal expansion, expected to be complete by 2015, will allow ships to carry three times the number of containers they currently carry.  More containers means more goods coming into Gulf port cities and in turn, the need for a central distribution hub to efficiently move goods destined for southeast markets.  Memphis is well-positioned, particularly in terms of rail infrastructure, to be a major beneficiary of the Canal expansion.  Learn more in this recent Daily News article.

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Supply Chain Analysis Moneyball Style

There are many reasons to trust your inventory to a 3PL like Patterson Warehouses. Many of those are fairly straightforward, for example: a 3PL can smooth out seasonal ups and downs by “flexing” space and labor in a way that you can’t do when you lease or own your own distribution facility and employ your own workforce.  And when you look at Memphis in particular as a location to outsource your warehousing and distribution, you’ll find we’re one of the most cost-effective labor and warehousing markets in the country.  The list goes on. But here’s an interesting article on LogisticsViewpoints.com that likens the formula for supply chain analysis to the one used by the Oakland A’s Billy Beane to compete effectively with teams having a much heftier payroll.  (And isn’t it timely that the A’s just made the playoffs in a surprising upset of the Rangers?)

You should read the entire article, but it can be boiled down pretty succinctly with a single question:

Have you quantified the cost of customer dissatisfaction that results from order errors?

To quote Steve Banker, the author of the article,

“Knowing the cost of poor quality associated with perfect order metric failures tells a company how much money it can realistically spend improving its order fulfillment capabilities. The handful of companies I know that have conducted various types of “cost of quality” studies  have found that errors generally cost them far more than they thought it would.”

One of the best reasons to trust your inventory to Patterson is that we make warehousing and distribution our only business and that’s why you won’t hear us talking about order errors.  They happen so infrequently that we don’t have to.

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Many Imports Flow Through Memphis

Andre Dean, vice president of public policy with the Greater Memphis Chamber spent a week at the end of September in Canada with several other Memphians  for the Canada Border/Ports/Rail Tour.   In a recent post on the Memphis in Motion blog, Andre shared some interesting things he learned during his visit, including this tidbit that further confirms Memphis’ position as a major logistics hub and home to so many distribution centers:

“Unknown to most, many of the goods we receive from Asia come through non-U.S. ports, one of which we visited today in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The port handles approximately 500,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent units) annually, and roughly 60 percent of the inbound containers are destined for Chicago and Memphis.  Memphis is connected to ports in California via the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads and to the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert via the Canadian National railroad. These very competitive options are examples of why we were chosen as the top city for logistics.”


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More companies see benefit of outsourced distribution

In a recent Memphis Daily News article, Buzz Fly, Patterson Warehouse’s VP of sales and marketing, talks about the growth potential for 3PL’s and why there is a growing interest for companies to outsource their warehousing and distribution in Memphis.  According to Fly,

“We’re certainly looking forward to the future because we do feel like we’ve got plenty of growth potential as more and more companies evaluate what their current cost is in having long-term leases and full-time employees versus having some flexible space and flex labor and being able to quantify what their distribution costs are.”

According to Ernie Nichols, associate professor of Supply Chain Management and director of the FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Memphis, “An awful lot of companies are thinking, ‘What’s our core competence, what do we really do well?’ And if the answer to that isn’t dealing with the logistical arm of the business, a lot of companies have decided to let somebody else do it.”

Read the full Daily News article here.

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