The Changing Role of Maintenance in High-Speed Distribution Centers

Introduction

The management of maintenance functions in automated distribution centers, and particularly those DCs with high-speed, high-volume equipment is changing. Where once material handling equipment maintenance was done almost exclusively with in-house maintenance staff, today’s highly automated DCs are now gradually shifting to the use of outsourced resident contractors to perform complete maintenance functions for the distribution center. While DCs traditionally have hired maintenance contractors and temporary employees for peak and specialized services, the concept of resident outsourcing represents a long-term, results-oriented relationship with a specialized outside company performing turnkey maintenance functions that traditionally were done by the DC’s inside staff.


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