People who have studied efficiency in the warehouse has found that 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in material handling facilities. The main objective is to reduce lift truck travel distance and time in specific ways which help prevent machine abuse and damage to products. Several of the most common efficiency barriers to numerous warehouses are discussed below.
New product lines are stored wherever there is extra room, not necessarily where it makes the most sense. Regularly handled things are separated due to storage handling requirements or to size. Because of increased business, SKUs or also called Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Order-picking and replenishment speeds are lessened due to bad lighting. The lift truck fleet is very small and a lot more round trips are needed utilizing the same equipment. Lift trucks experience slowdowns and detours because of poor equipment maintenance and uneven floor surfaces. Inefficient warehouse design usually leads to unproductive workflows and dead-end aisles.
There are 3 main areas to focus on if any of the mentioned concerns seem familiar at your place of work, or if you are aware of ways to be much more effective overall:
The layout of the storage, shipping, and receiving areas: Direct the way your product flows by utilizing a facility layout or by drawing a series of arrows. The best facilities offer a well-organized, single direction flow from receiving to shipping. If your arrows go in many different directions, or double backwards in any spots or go in the opposite to the desired direction, then you have determined your inefficient spots.
When you have identified your trouble spots, work to improve access to product destinations, lessen travel distances between destination and source, reduce bottleneck areas in the facility and re-vamp any lift truck and high-travel congestion areas.
Cross-Docking? For objects which rapidly move throughout your facility, consider cross-docking options. The cross-docked inventory is not stored inside the warehouse. It is transported from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the consolidation and sorting is usually performed in the shipping areas. The easiest objects to cross-dock are typically bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.