Package Handling
DCS’s design and engineering team has more than 40 years of experience creating unique parcel handling systems for diverse customer applications. With installations including semi-automated handling in small city distribution centers and fully automated, integrated hubs with advanced conveyor and sorter equipment, DCS routinely thinks outside the box.
E-Commerce and Multi-Channel Fulfillment
DCS designs and implements end-to-end warehouse automation solutions for e-commerce and multi-channel retailers that address numerous workflow challenges. This includes solutions for receiving, putaway, storage, replenishment, order fulfillment, picking, packing, sortation, and outbound shipping. Our custom integrated warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment systems draw from a deep pool of conventional, semi-automated, and automated material handling technologies.
Various Distribution Applications
Whether an operation is considering the construction of a new distribution or fulfillment center, or a retrofit or expansion of an existing facility, it’s important to create a solution that fits the overarching supply chain strategy. DCS has four decades of experience designing and integrating comprehensive, end-to-end material handling solutions that meet a multitude of operational goals. Whether conventional, semi-automated, or fully automated, DCS can help your organization implement a custom solution that meets its goals while maximizing return on investment (ROI).
Supply Chain Consulting
The DCS Supply Chain Consulting team offers a range of services to help your operations address the challenges it faces. Working in partnership with you, DCS consultants analyze your business data- existing workforce, workflow processes, inventory, order data, operations, and more- to determine a strategy that addresses your unique needs. Whether you need an operations assessment, process improvement recommendations, or distribution design services, DCS consultants will help guide you to the material handling system or operational solution that best meets your current and future needs, as well as your budget.
Customer Support
Keeping your warehouse operations and material handling systems running smoothly and at the peak of productivity are the goals of DCS’ Customer Service Team. By partnering with DCS, your warehouse automation solution is supported from commissioning to end of life. You’ll receive comprehensive in-house training of your personnel, including specialized training of your designated internal system expert. Plus, DCS offers a complete package of spare parts and expert system troubleshooting support from qualified engineers dedicated to your installation.
System Design & Integration
DCS offers a broad range of material handling equipment and automated system design, installation, and integration services for a multitude of projects. These include retrofits, expansions, upgrades, and more. While every project is unique, our system design and execution processes are the same, encompassing meticulous attention to detail, frequent communication, and a dedicated partnership with our clients.
About Us
Designed Conveyor Systems (DCS) has 40 years of experience serving major clients in multiple industries by providing material handling, full-scale warehouse operations, and conveyor design solutions that are custom crafted for their needs. DCS does not sell ready-made conveyor systems but builds relationships that empower collaboration to craft custom warehouse designs together. DCS utilizes consulting, engineering design, project management, installation services, and client support to ensure our customers can keep their promises to deliver on time.
Projects
With more than 40 years of experience providing automated system design, installation, and integration services, DCS has created solutions for companies throughout the United States in a broad range of industries and markets. We’ve completed more than 1500 projects ranging from greenfield facilities with completely new systems to expansions and retrofits of existing operations.

Creative Strategies Help Tackle Freight and Logistics Challenges to Keep Projects on Schedule

Wouldn’t it be nice if Star Trek-style teleportation was available for shipping? There wouldn’t be any costly delays due to port congestion, a shortage of truck drivers, fluctuating shipping rates, and capacity limitations. Unfortunately, teleportation is only a science fiction fantasy, while all of those challenges continue to be a global supply chain reality.

As it turns out, however, screenwriters aren’t the only ones with imagination. At DCS, we’ve flexed our creative muscle to develop innovative freight and logistics strategies. While they’re not nearly as cool as teleportation, these measures have ensured that the current transportation and supply chain issues don’t negatively impact our customers’ projects.

Recently, two of my colleagues shared how DCS has reduced equipment lead times by building strong partnerships with our vendors and suppliers, as well as by streamlining our design and engineering processes. While designing a system and ordering its components are important parts of the process, getting those components shipped to the project site on-time and on-schedule are just as essential to ensuring that our customers’ operations are up and running as originally planned.

Here are a few ways that DCS is successfully tackling freight and challenges.

Warehousing of components & equipment as it becomes available

In order to guarantee that all the critical parts, components, and material handling equipment will be delivered to a project in the correct sequence and at the right time – with all associated conveyor, motors, housings, belting, controls, and other key items – DCS has added three separate warehouse automation facilities within Tennessee.

This square footage is dedicated solely to receiving and storing all the elements associated with each active project we currently have in production. Because we’re ordering components as early as we possibly can, and because lead times can be wildly different depending on the source, operating our own warehouses allows us to consolidate all the necessary parts in a central location. That, in turn, enables DCS to better control the flow of each project. Our team can build full truckloads that contain the items that are to be installed together. They can also schedule each shipment in the proper order, so they arrive precisely when needed on the job site.

Partnering with third-party logistics (3PL) service providers

While we have a large purchasing team at DCS, we have opted to outsource our logistics needs. We work with a select group of highly qualified and experienced national 3PLs who provide transportation brokerage services. They manage the scheduling and freight for both our inbound receiving of equipment and components from vendors and our consolidated outbound shipments to project locations nationwide. We work very closely with our counterparts at these 3PLs to maximize our transparency into where all equipment and components are in transit.

Their broad networks of transportation connections also give us greater flexibility and more logistics and freight options. For example, when shipping full trailer loads of components from our Tennessee warehouses to a job site on the west coast, our 3PL partners help us evaluate whether over-the-road trucking or rail is a better option in consideration of a range of factors. Those options and insight allow us to select the most expedient and cost-effective mode of transportation, saving our customers time and money.

Transitioning to full truckload shipments

Historically, shipping items via less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers often offered the best transportation rates because cost is determined based on mileage and the amount of trailer space required by the load. In the past 24 months, however, the staffing issues faced by trucking companies have made delivery timeframes for LTL shipments less reliable. By shifting to full truckloads, DCS has much more control of the shipping process – from loading to delivery – to minimize the risk of a project schedule disruption.

Since a single project can require as many as 200 truckload shipments (or more!), our full truckload volumes allow our 3PL partners the flexibility to negotiate more favorable carrier scheduling and rates. Further, because we are consolidating shipments in our own warehouses, we can advise our 3PLs about the type of tractor-trailers that will be needed well ahead of time. This enables them to reserve the types of trucks that can be harder to find – such as Conestoga trailers with sliding tarp sides and roof that can be loaded from the sides and overhead – well in advance of the shipping date to ensure their availability.

Shifting sources to suppliers with larger geographic footprints

As carriers continue to face driver shortages, we’ve adjusted our sourcing strategy for suppliers of key accessory items such as anchors, bolts, specialty hardware, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Whereas previously we could source from an organization with one primary distribution location that shipped nationwide, the volatility of the shipping sector has made on-time delivery far less assured.

For that reason, we’ve switched to a supplier who stocks these fittings throughout a large network of regional distribution hubs. That decreases the distance between a project location and the source for these necessary parts, reducing shipping distances and increasing the likelihood that these key components will be available on-site when needed.

 

Concerned that freight and logistics challenges might impact your project timelines? Consider working with DCS. Connect with us to learn more about how our supplier relationships can help keep your next system implementation on schedule.

Author

Matt Ramsey, Purchasing Resource Manager, mattr@designedconveyor.com