People who have studied efficiency in the warehouse has found that 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in material handling facilities. The main objective is to reduce lift truck travel distance and time in specific ways which truly help prevent damage to products and machine abuse. Several of the most frequent efficiency barriers to numerous warehouses are discussed below.
The new products would not always be placed where it makes the most sense, these products are normally stored where there is extra space. The regularly handled objects are separated due to storage handling requirements or to size. Because of increased business, SKUs or Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are lessened because of bad lighting. The forklift fleet is very small and more round trips are needed using the same machinery. Lift trucks experience slowdowns and detours because of poor equipment maintenance and uneven floor surfaces. Inefficient warehouse layout usually leads to ineffective workflows and dead-end aisles.
There are 3 main areas to concentrate on if any of the above issues seem familiar at your place of work, or if you know ways to be more effective overall:
Storage, Shipping and Receiving Layout: Utilize a facility layout and draw a series of arrows that reflect the way your product flows. The best facilities offer a well-organized, single direction flow from receiving to shipping. If your arrows go in numerous different directions, or double backwards in any spots or go in the opposite to the desired direction, then you have determined your inefficient spots.
Work to improve access to product destinations, reduce travel distances between destination and source, decrease bottleneck places when you have identified your trouble spots. This can be done by re-vamping any forklift and high-travel congestion places.
Cross-Docking? For objects which quickly move throughout your facility, consider cross-docking options. The cross-docked inventory is not stored in the warehouse. It is transported from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the consolidation and sorting is often done in the shipping areas. The simplest objects to cross-dock are usually bar coded products with high inventory carrying expenses and predicable demands.