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 goal is to be able to minimize forklift travel distance and time in particular ways which really help prevent machine abuse and product damage. Several of the most frequent efficiency barriers to a lot of warehouses are discussed below.
New product lines are stored wherever there is extra room, not necessarily where it makes the most sense. Frequently handled items are separated due to size or to storage handling requirements. Because of increased business, SKUs or Stock-Keeping Units have proliferated. Replenishment and order-picking speeds are lessened because of poor lighting. The forklift fleet is too small and a lot more round trips are required utilizing the same machine. Forklifts face detours and slowdowns because of uneven floor surfaces and poor machine maintenance. Ineffective warehouse layout often leads to inefficient workflows and dead-end aisles.
There are 3 main areas to focus on if any of the mentioned concerns seem familiar at your place of work, or if you are aware of ways to be more effective overall:
The layout of the storage, shipping, and receiving areas: Direct the way your product flows by using a facility layout or by drawing a series of arrows. The best facilities offer a single direction, well-organized 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, 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 lift truck and high-travel congestion areas.
What is cross-docking? Consider cross-docking options for things which 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 performed within the shipping areas. The easiest objects to cross-dock are usually bar coded products with high inventory carrying costs and predicable demands.