Ensuring your warehouse is organized as efficiently as possible can make notable differences to the way your business works and how well it works. So, here are 7 tips on better warehouse layout.
- Make Your Popular SKUs Easy To Access
Your best sales probably change from one season to the next. You need to make changes to your warehouse as your most popular SKUs change. You need to change and improve your layout at least once a year. Your most popular products should be easy to access so that order pickers can save time. Look for a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that includes a dynamic slotting module feature.
- Improve Picking Methodology
Your picking methodology needs to be adapted to your organization. You can have order pickers work on one order at a time, pick products for several orders or use other strategies like batch picking or zone picking. Choose the option that allows you to improve productivity and get help from a 3PL if you are not sure which method is best.
- Sequence Orders With Software
You can save a lot of time by using software to sequence orders. You can choose to sequence orders in function of the pick path, group orders by zones, group some orders together or put aside the orders that include non-conveyable items. Use WMS software that allows you to organize workflow in a way that makes sense for your organization and optimize the way orders are sequenced.
- Have A Warehouse Within Your Warehouse
You can make your warehouse more efficient by creating a group with your most popular products. You might notice that 80% of your orders are for the same 20% of your products. Grouping these SKUs together will save a significant amount of time for your order pickers as long as this zone is designed in an efficient manner and that order pickers won’t get in the way of their colleagues.
Keep in mind that this approach might not work if the 80-20 rule does not apply to your organization. Grouping your most popular SKUs might not work if this group would include more than 20% of your products or if 80% of your orders are only for a few products.
- Review Your Storage Equipment
You can make your warehouse more efficient by using bin shelving for the larger slow-moving items and using pallets or cartons for fast-moving items. This will improve storage density and makes your order pickers more productive. The DC’s cube will get more use. However, this approach might not be ideal if some items are seasonal or if sales volume go up due to sales.
- Have A Wheelhouse Area
You can make your warehouse more productive by having your most popular items in a wheelhouse area or in a waist-to-shoulder area so that pickers can easily access these SKUs.
- Reduce The Number Of Standard Shipping Cartons You Use
You should only have two or three standard shipping cartons and a few custom sizes for some items. This will help your pickers work in a more efficient manner. Using a couple of standard shipping boxes will reduce your costs and will help you improve the pick-path methodology.
Note: This is a guest post.