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.
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.

Strategies For Reducing The Number Of Inventory Touches In Your Facility

Once products enter your warehouse, how many times are they handled – as individual items (eaches), cases, or pallets – as they make their way from receiving, to putaway, to storage, to replenishment, to picking, to packing, and finally to shipping?

Many operations can’t answer this question precisely, but they do know that the more touches occur, the higher their inventory handling costs will be. That’s because, as a general rule, each time an associate touches a product within your facility it costs $1 to $2; every pallet touch costs $3 to $4. Those numbers add up quickly. It’s been estimated that the total cost-per-touch of products during handling – regardless of the industry – ranges from 2% to 5% of the value of the inventory.

With potential expenses that high, it makes sound financial sense to consider ways to minimize the number of times your employees interact with your inventory. Here, let’s explore a few approaches for doing so.

Understand Inventory Metrics

You can’t reduce the number of inventory touches without knowing how frequently each stock keeping unit (SKU) in your warehouse is picked. Known as SKU velocity, items are typically assigned classifications from A to D (A being the fastest moving, most often picked, items; D being the items that are rarely ordered). Once product velocity is determined, an appropriate layout for the warehouse can be designed. Known as inventory slotting, such an arrangement minimizes replenishment handling – or how often a pallet of stored product must be located, removed from racking, and transported to forward picking.

For a traditional, manual warehouse, the optimal layout might include picking the fastest, A movers directly from the pallet upon which they were received, placed in a forward pick zone closest to packing stations. For B movers, a carton flow area presenting pick faces of multiple products is located in close proximity to buffer inventory for replenishment stored in nearby pallet rack. The slowest velocity items, D movers, should be stored farthest away from the picking and packing areas and on the highest levels of racking, as they will be ordered at the lowest frequency and handled the least often.

Warehouse Management Software

Too many operations rely on spreadsheets – or even the operations manager’s memory – to determine what inventory is in stock and where it’s been stored. With the right warehouse management system (WMS) or warehouse execution system (WES), inventory is tracked automatically from the point of receipt. The software automatically analyzes product velocity and assigns an appropriate storage location based on that information. It also tracks that location, directing an associate to the precise storage position of a pallet or SKU, eliminating search time.

Additionally, a WMS/WES continually reassesses SKU demand and can be leveraged to interleave picking and replenishment tasks with moves that update the inventory slotting scheme on a continual basis. This ensures that the highest velocity items are always in the areas easiest to locate and pick. Such software can also factor in upcoming peak periods or special promotions and direct the relocation of associated inventory accordingly to further minimize touches.

While many operations currently not using a WMS/WES can be hesitant to make an investment in the software, they should consider software-as-a-service (SAAS) as a more affordable approach. Cloud-based and modular, facility managers can pick-and-choose the functionality they need from a WMS/WES, effectively customizing standard modules to fit their unique application. Not only does that reduce the overall cost of the software investment, we’ve found that it significantly shortens the payback period – particularly because of the drop in inventory touches.

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems

The ultimate way to reduce inventory touches is to invest in an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). These solutions come in a full range of options, handling everything from eaches to cases to pallets depending on their construction and configuration. Usually equipped with on-board inventory management software, or interfacing with the facility’s WMS, these systems store and retrieve products automatically – significantly minimizing manual inventory touches.

When a SKU is called for, the system retrieves it and presents it to an associate. Pallet-based AS/RS may deliver a pallet to a forklift pick-up zone or deposit it directly to a transport conveyor. Case- and tote-handling ASRS might interface with conveyor, sorter, or robotic arm to route the load to its next destination; alternately, some of these systems are configured for goods-to-person picking, presenting the case or tote of eaches to an operator at a designated workstation for selection of the required quantity of items. Each-handling AS/RS often dispense one or two items into shipping cartons or totes as they pass beneath the system, eliminating picking touches for small products.

Need more ideas for more effective inventory handling in your operation? To learn more about working with DCS, we invite you to connect with us.




Drew Thomas, Senior System Sales Consultant,

A 20-year veteran of the material handling industry, Drew has experienced many different roles – engineering, project management, business development and sales consulting. Leveraging his background in controls automation and his passion for technology, Drew has continuously sought to push innovation in the industry. He cares about making the world a better place by improving the life of others through automation. Outside of the office, you will frequently see Drew on the golf course or exploring the great outdoors with his family.