There could be a number of reasons why you might consider a warehouse optimisation project – it could be due a need for increased storage or throughput, or it could just be to have an independent party review your existing arrangements, determining whether there is room for improvement on the existing set up. Whatever your reason we will look at some of the main considerations below.
Data of various types is key when setting out, perhaps none more so that relating to the inventory you are holding. Understanding the size and weight of your stock will help you identify what is potentially the optimal storage solution for your products. There are many different storage solutions available on the market, however the easiest option is to talk to an expert who will already have a good understanding of the various options, costs and pros and cons.
At SCALA we often come across sites where the storage solution in place is not optimal for the product being stored; resolving this can lead to significant additional life for a property asset, as well as potential picking productivity improvements. Reviewing the profile of the stock holding and dealing with problem stock can also lead to creating significant additional space.
Understanding product velocity, combined with a capable WMS, will allow you to make sure products are optimally located in the warehouse to maxmise putaway and picking productivity. It will also have an impact on the type of storage and picking mediums used.
Understanding your available space, layout and material flow paths are key to a high efficiency operation. The movement of goods from one area to another should be logical and where possible aided by technology.
For receipt / putaway:
- Is it manual or using technology i.e. ASN / RF scanning? RFID?
- Can the actual putaway process be automated? i.e. full pallet unloading to conveyor?
- Are pick walks optimised? Is batch picking used?
- Is technology being utilised? e.g. voice pick / wearables / RF scanning / pick-to-light
- Can automation / robotics be implemented?
- Can conveyors / AGVs be used to transfer products to packing stations?
- Are auto bagging machines / automated packaging solutions possible?
- Can carriers labels be automatically applied / directed to the appropriate lane?
Ultimately warehouse optimisation is a continual process, more important than ever now due to the pace of change with advances in automation, robotics and AI.
At SCALA we have experience of warehouse optimisation projects both big and small. helping clients to make the most of their available resources, as well as complete warehouse redesigns to encompass new technologies.
If you have a need to get more out of your existing facility or are just interested in exploring the benefits of an upgrade, we’d love to talk to you.