The individuals who study warehouse efficiency have found that about 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in most material handling facilities. The goal is to be able to minimize lift truck time and travel distance in certain ways that really help avoid machine abuse and product damage. Several of the most common efficiency barriers to a lot of warehouses are discussed below.
New product lines are stored where there is extra space, not necessarily where it makes the most sense. Frequently handled things are separated due to storage handling requirements or to size. Due to increased business, SKUs or also called Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are reduced due to poor lighting. The forklift fleet is too small and more round trips are required using the same machine. Forklifts experience detours and slowdowns because of poor equipment maintenance and uneven floor surfaces. Ineffective warehouse layout normally causes inefficient workflows and dead-end aisles.
If any of the mentioned concerns seem familiar at your place of work, or if you know ways to be much more effective overall, there are 3 main areas to concentrate on:
The layout of the shipping, receiving and storage areas: Direct the way your product flows by using a facility layout or by drawing a series of arrows. The best facilities provide a well-organized, single direction 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 spots.
When you have identified your trouble spots, work to improve access to product destinations, minimize travel distances between destination and source, reduce bottleneck places within the facility and re-vamp any lift truck and high-travel congestion places.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for things that rapidly move throughout your facility. The cross-docked inventory is not stored inside the warehouse. It is moved from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the consolidation and sorting is normally performed in the shipping areas. The simplest things to cross-dock are typically bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.