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 objective is to minimize lift truck time and travel distance in specific ways that truly help avoid machine abuse and product damage. Some of the most frequent efficiency barriers to a lot of warehouses are discussed below.
The new products will not always be placed where it makes the most sense, these products are often stored wherever there is extra room. The frequently handled items 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 because of poor 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 uneven floor surfaces and poor equipment maintenance. Inefficient warehouse layout normally causes dead-end aisles and inefficient workflows.
There are 3 main areas to concentrate on if any of the above concerns seem familiar at your workplace, or if you are aware of ways to be much more efficient overall:
Storage, Shipping and Receiving Layout: Use a facility layout and draw a series of arrows reflecting the way your product flows. The best facilities offer a single direction, well-organized flow from receiving to shipping. If your arrows go in many different directions, or go in the opposite to the desired direction or double backwards in any spots, then you have determined your inefficient spots.
Work to improve access to product destinations, lessen travel distances between source and destination, lessen bottleneck places once you have identified your trouble spots. This can be done by re-vamping any lift truck 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 normally done in the shipping areas. The simplest objects to cross-dock are typically bar coded products with high inventory carrying expenses and predicable demands.