Individuals who have studied effectiveness in the warehouse has found that 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in material handling facilities. The objective is to be able to minimize forklift travel distance and time in particular ways which help prevent damage to products and equipment abuse. Some of the most frequent efficiency barriers to lots of warehouses are discussed below.
The new products will not always be placed where it makes the most sense, these products are usually stored wherever there is extra room. The regularly handled objects are separated due to storage handling requirements or to size. Because of increased business, SKUs or Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Order-picking and replenishment speeds are lessened due to bad lighting. The lift truck fleet is too small and a lot more round trips are needed using the same machine. Lift trucks experience slowdowns and detours due to uneven floor surfaces and poor equipment maintenance. Ineffective warehouse design usually causes dead-end aisles and inefficient workflows.
If any of the above problems seem familiar at your place of work, or if you know ways to be much more effective overall, there are 3 main areas to focus on:
Shipping, Receiving and Storage Layout: Utilize a facility layout and draw a series of arrows reflecting the way your product flows. The best facilities provide a single direction, well-organized 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.
After you have identified your trouble spots, work to improve access to product destinations, minimize travel distances between destination and source, decrease bottleneck places in the facility and re-vamp any forklift and high-travel congestion places.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for items that rapidly move throughout your facility. The cross-docked inventory is not stored in the warehouse. It is transported from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the consolidation and sorting is normally done within the shipping areas. The easiest objects to cross-dock are typically bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.