People who have studied effectiveness in the warehouse has found that 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in material handling facilities. The goal is to be able to minimize lift truck time and travel distance in specific ways that help avoid damage to products and machine abuse. Several of the most frequent efficiency barriers to numerous 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 storage handling requirements or to size. Due to increased business, Stock-Keeping Units or also called SKUs have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are reduced because of bad lighting. The lift truck fleet is very small and more round trips are needed utilizing the same machine. Forklifts experience slowdowns and detours because of poor equipment maintenance and uneven floor surfaces. Ineffective warehouse design normally causes inefficient workflows and dead-end aisles.
There are 3 main areas to focus on if any of the above problems seem familiar at your workplace, or if you are aware of ways to be more effective overall:
The layout of the storage, shipping, and receiving 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 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 areas.
When you have identified your trouble spots, work to improve access to product destinations, lessen travel distances between source and destination, reduce bottleneck areas within the facility and re-vamp any forklift and high-travel congestion places.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for objects which quickly 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 usually done within the shipping areas. The easiest things to cross-dock are usually bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.