Those 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 specific ways that really help prevent equipment abuse and damage to products. Some of the most frequent efficiency barriers to lots of warehouses are discussed below.
New product lines are stored where there is extra room, not necessarily where it makes the most sense. Regularly handled objects are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Because of increased business, SKUs or also called Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are reduced because of bad lighting. The forklift fleet is very small and a lot more round trips are required using the same equipment. Lift trucks face detours and slowdowns because of uneven floor surfaces and poor machine maintenance. Inefficient warehouse design usually leads to dead-end aisles and inefficient workflows.
If any of the mentioned 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 concentrate on:
Storage, Shipping and Receiving Layout: Use a facility layout and draw a series of arrows reflecting the way your product flows. The best facilities provide a well-organized, single direction flow from receiving to shipping. If your arrows go in the opposite to the desired direction or double backwards in any spots or go in many different directions, 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, lessen bottleneck areas in the facility and re-vamp any forklift and high-travel congestion places.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for things which rapidly 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 consolidation and sorting is normally performed within the shipping areas. The simplest objects to cross-dock are typically bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.