The individuals who study warehouse effectiveness have found that about 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in the majority of material handling facilities. The objective is to be able to minimize forklift travel distance and time in certain ways that help prevent equipment abuse and product damage. Several of the most common efficiency barriers to numerous warehouses are discussed below.
New product lines are stored wherever there is extra space, not necessarily where it makes the most sense. Frequently handled things are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Because of increased business, Stock-Keeping Units or SKUs have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are reduced due to bad lighting. The forklift fleet is too small and a lot more round trips are required using the same machinery. Forklifts face detours and slowdowns due to uneven floor surfaces and poor equipment maintenance. Ineffective warehouse design often leads to dead-end aisles and unproductive workflows.
There are 3 main areas to concentrate on if any of the mentioned problems seem familiar at your place of work, or if you know ways to be more efficient overall:
Shipping, Receiving and Storage Layout: Utilize a facility layout and draw a series of arrows that reflect the way your product flows. 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 numerous different directions, then you have determined your inefficient areas.
Work to improve access to product destinations, reduce travel distances between source and destination, lessen bottleneck places once you have identified your trouble spots. This can be done by re-vamping any forklift and high-travel congestion places.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for items 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 sorting and consolidation is normally performed within the shipping areas. The simplest items to cross-dock are normally bar coded products with high inventory carrying costs and predicable demands.