WERC Matters: WERC’s Facility Assessment & Certification Program

In this Q&A, leaders from Blount International, Cambro Manufacturing and Hopewell Logistics discuss the value of their first—and second—WERC Facility Certification.

By Michael Mikitka

For more than a decade, the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC) has offered the Facility Assessment & Certification Program—an independent, unbiased evaluation of an operation’s warehousing practices as compared to industry standards. More than 80 facilities worldwide have completed the process, which includes an in-person, two-day inspection and results review with an industry experienced auditor.

On site, the assessor closely examines eight functional areas of warehouse operations, scoring each on a five-point scale. Scores are benchmarked against the WERC Warehousing & Fulfillment Process Benchmark & Best Practices Guide; facilities that meet or exceed the industry standard are awarded the WERC Facility Certification. The value of this process to warehouse operators, shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) service providers is two-fold:

•          The application of the results to continuous improvement initiatives, and

•          To gain credibility from executive level management, and among potential partners and customers.

In addition to the unbiased performance analysis, the assessment report includes a list of observations, or areas where potential changes might yield greater efficiencies. Many operations appreciate the opportunity to not only know where they stand within the field, but also to have a knowledgeable outsider offer a fresh perspective.

For some companies, one review is not enough. Driven by a desire to continuously improve, some operations choose to recertify. Leaders from three organizations who completed a second assessment and recertification process—conducted by Steve Murray, WERC’s lead auditor and senior research associate—shared their experiences here.

•          Steve Snyder, North American Distribution Manager at Blount International,

•          Shawn Steockliene, Warehouse Operations Manager at Cambro Manufacturing

•          Larry Hargreaves, Vice President, Dedicated Operations and Sean Hammond, Director of Operations at Hopewell Logistics

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