Congratulations, you are now in your new distribution center! Turn the key, and it should start up just right. Or should it?

In our experience, a successful startup of a new distribution center (DC) will hit 70% of design expectations during the first year, then 90% during year two, and finally, 100% by year three. Sounds easy to beat, but for complex, new, green-field operations it isn’t— especially when you consider that during the first couple of months a new operation usually suffers through a 40% performance level while everyone is still trying to find the lunchroom.

Over the years, we’ve seen many operations that never got better than 60% of design expectations, particularly if the DC design was flawed or if the planning and startup effort was insufficient. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re equipped to handle year one the right way. The key to a successful startup, and the best chance to beat the startup curve, is a program of focused, continuous, incremental improvement.

To help you out, we created this free resource, Your Roadmap to Startup Success in a New Distribution Center: Year 1. This roadmap will walk you through the seven big focus areas that you should have in place for year one to ensure your DC is efficient and meets the highest percentage of design expectations possible.