Individuals who have studied efficiency in the warehouse has found that 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in material handling facilities. The goal is to reduce forklift travel distance and time in certain ways which truly help avoid equipment abuse and product damage. Some of the most common efficiency barriers to numerous warehouses are discussed below.
The new products will not always be positioned where it makes the most sense, these products are usually stored wherever there is extra room. The frequently handled things are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Because of increased business, Stock-Keeping Units or SKUs have proliferated. Order-picking and replenishment speeds are lessened because of bad lighting. The lift truck fleet is too small and more round trips are needed using the same machine. Forklifts experience detours and slowdowns because of poor equipment maintenance and uneven floor surfaces. Inefficient warehouse design often leads to dead-end aisles and unproductive workflows.
If any of the above problems seem familiar at your place of work, or if you know ways to be more efficient 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 offer 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 areas.
Work to improve access to product destinations, lessen travel distances between destination and source, reduce bottleneck areas once you have identified your trouble spots. This could be done by re-vamping any forklift and high-travel congestion areas.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for items that rapidly move throughout your facility. The cross-docked inventory is not stored inside the warehouse. It is transported from inbound delivery almost directly to outbound shipping. Some of the sorting and consolidation is usually performed within the shipping areas. The easiest objects to cross-dock are normally bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying expenses.