The people who study warehouse efficiency have found that around 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in most material handling facilities. The goal is to be able to minimize lift truck travel distance and time in particular ways that help prevent machine abuse and product damage. Several of the most frequent efficiency barriers to lots of warehouses are discussed below.
The new products would not always be positioned where it makes the most sense, these products are often stored wherever there is extra room. The regularly handled objects are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Due to increased business, Stock-Keeping Units or also called SKUs have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are lessened because of bad lighting. The lift truck fleet is too small and more round trips are needed utilizing the same machine. Forklifts face slowdowns and detours because of poor equipment maintenance and uneven floor surfaces. Ineffective warehouse layout normally leads to inefficient workflows and dead-end aisles.
If any of the above concerns seem familiar at your place of work, or if you are aware of ways to be more efficient overall, there are 3 main areas to focus on:
The layout of the shipping, receiving and storage areas: Direct the way your product flows by utilizing a facility layout or by drawing a series of arrows. The best facilities offer a single direction, well-organized flow from receiving to shipping. If your arrows double backwards in any spots or go in the opposite to the desired direction or go in many different directions, then you have determined your inefficient areas.
When you have identified your trouble spots, work to improve access to product destinations, minimize travel distances between destination and source, decrease bottleneck areas within the facility and re-vamp any forklift and high-travel congestion places.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for items that quickly move throughout your facility. The cross-docked inventory is not stored in the warehouse. It is moved from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the sorting and consolidation is often done within the shipping areas. The easiest objects to cross-dock are usually bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.