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 time and travel distance in particular ways that truly help prevent product damage and machine abuse. Several of the most common efficiency barriers to a lot of warehouses are discussed below.
The new products would not always be placed where it makes the most sense, these products are usually stored where there is extra space. The frequently handled objects are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Due to increased business, SKUs or also called Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Order-picking and replenishment speeds are lessened due to bad lighting. The forklift fleet is too small and more round trips are needed utilizing the same equipment. Forklifts experience slowdowns and detours because of uneven floor surfaces and poor equipment maintenance. Inefficient warehouse layout normally leads to inefficient workflows and dead-end aisles.
If any of the above concerns seem familiar at your workplace, or if you are aware of ways to be much more effective overall, there are 3 main areas to concentrate on:
Shipping, Receiving and Storage Layout: Utilize a facility layout and draw a series of arrows that reflect the way your product flows. The best facilities offer a single direction, well-organized flow from receiving to shipping. If your arrows go in many different directions, or go in the opposite to the desired direction or double backwards in any spots, then you have determined your inefficient areas.
When you have identified your trouble spots, work to improve access to product destinations, reduce travel distances between source and destination, lessen bottleneck places within the facility and re-vamp any lift truck and high-travel congestion places.
Cross-Docking? For objects which quickly move throughout your facility, consider cross-docking options. The cross-docked inventory is not stored in the warehouse. It is moved from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the consolidation and sorting is usually done in the shipping areas. The simplest things to cross-dock are normally bar coded products with high inventory carrying expenses and predicable demands.