Individuals who have studied effectiveness in the warehouse has found that 50 to 60 percent of travel time is wasted in material handling facilities. The objective is to minimize forklift travel distance and time in particular ways which help prevent machine abuse and damage to products. 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 usually stored wherever there is extra room. The regularly handled objects are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Because of increased business, Stock-Keeping Units or also called SKUs have proliferated. Order-picking and replenishment speeds are lessened due to poor lighting. The lift truck fleet is too small and more round trips are required using the same machine. Lift trucks experience slowdowns and detours due to uneven floor surfaces and poor machine maintenance. Inefficient warehouse design usually causes ineffective workflows and dead-end aisles.
If any of the above problems seem familiar at your place of work, or if you are aware of ways to be much more efficient overall, there are 3 main areas to focus on:
Shipping, Receiving and Storage Layout: Utilize 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 spots.
Work to improve access to product destinations, reduce travel distances between source and destination, decrease bottleneck areas when 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 objects that rapidly move throughout your facility. 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 usually done within the shipping areas. The simplest things to cross-dock are typically bar coded products with predicable demands and high inventory carrying costs.