DSC’s Mira Loma Campus Provides High Quality Warehousing Services
Mira Loma, California USA
October 2005
Richard Armstrong

Key Personnel:
Kevin Lacey, V.P.
Blair Child, G.M.
Mark Diaz, Logistics Manager III

DSC has four sizable warehouses located within a one-half mile radius in the Inland Empire industrial area of Mira Loma, California. These warehouses are modern food-grade operations varying in size from 235,000 to 333,000 square feet. Mira Loma 3 is the largest and is a high-security facility with 16 cameras which cover every corner of the building. The buildings all have 32-foot ceilings, plenty of truck dock doors for shipping and receiving (30-48 per building). ML 1 and 2 have 8 rail doors which unload into bulk storage areas on the backsides of the buildings.

The buildings have 2-7 customers each, reflecting DSC’s vertical emphasis on food and consumer paper products but with a nice addition of high-tech and medical-related products. We were struck by the cleanliness and order of these buildings.

ML 1 – 4 are all laid out to accommodate a, b, c and d commodity turns efficient picking as necessary. Value-added services are heaviest in two of the facilities, one of which has a kitting line for various Pioneer products. Pioneer products are tracked by serial number. The products are received at a rate of 6-8 containers a day. DSC kits them to customer specs. Pioneer is able to track its inventory on the web using DSC’s A.S.K. program. DSC even inventories the packaging materials.

Radio frequency systems are used in all warehouses. Directed putaway, discrete picking and cycle counting are standard. Processes are flow charted for all operations. Quality management and process improvement techniques are the order of the day.

For example, picking functions and responsibilities have scalable rotation (FIFO, lot driven and other operations). System directed logic minimizes travel time. The RF technology gives real time updates. All movement events are time stamped and there is built-in redundancy. In short, operations are controlled and tight.

DSC does a very good job for its case-based and “each picking” accounts. Standard value-added services include repackaging, product upgrading, module/display building and labeling. Transportation consolidation for distribution is done using i2, which is integrated to DSC’s robust, proprietary WMS system.

DSC runs 8 tractor trailer units, provided by partner carriers, within a 100 mile radius, primarily for large shipment deliveries. Load planning and transportation network optimization are done by DSC’s National Service Center in Chicago. Trailer control and yard management are well done.

As you would expect, the key performance indicators are good. Trucker no-shows and pickup window misses are low, running in the 98-99% range. As one would expect, customer pickups are slightly lower with more month to month variation. Case picks per hour, cases shipped per day, picking accuracy and inventory case accuracies are all high. The later measures consistently exceed 99%.

Kevin Lacey received much of his training as a FedEx operations manager. Blair Child and Mark Diaz each have over 12 years with DSC. They are agreeable and low key, but no-nonsense managers who handle their personnel well. The result is a set of clean, high quality operations.


Sources: A&A Primary Research, http://www.dsclogistics.com/

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