Updated: Oct 8, 2021
DCwise.eu shares in this post ideas on how you can improve your solutions ➟
👉 This post is a sequel to the earlier post on "How to approach Warehouse-rearrangement".
Now we take the step towards continuously leverging rearrangement in support of the operation. Focus in this post lies within the (change in) placement of goods.
1️⃣ The basic question is "What are the rearrangements that would be beneficial for the operation?"
A couple of elements surface here:
✅ Safety and ergonomics
Here it's all about improving the placement of the goods towards safety and ergonomics. Example of such a rearrangement would be: bringing heavier hand-pick items within hand-reach. Another example would be correcting the locaties of hazardous goods located in non proper locations.
A lack of space in storage drives that grid-locks surface, in turn making the inbound and outbound processes come to a halt or at least goods are no longer being put-away in the optimal locations. Example woud be to bring single pallet stocks towards matching rack locations.
✅ Efficiency and quality
Here its all about improving the placement of the goods to improve the processes. A good example is to move the A-movers to Prime locations, B-movers to sub-prime locations, etc.
2️⃣ Next step is to get het an "overview" on the situation:
▶First question is: what is the "effort" (as in investment or "cost") to execute the rearrangement. This Typically boils down to the number of working-hours (by humans &/or machines).
▶ Next question is: what the need or "benefit" is?
▶ Last question: what is the relationship between "benefit" and effort?
In some cases this can be extreme and even make the first question irrelevant. Do we need an immediate action (due to safety, regulations or possibility for high impact such as grid-locks) or can this be executed in a balanced more long term perspective?
▶ All rearrangements that are "obligatory" will need to be executed. The benefit always outweighs the cost. This due to either legal or EH&S reasons. E.g. the hazardous goods.
▶ All rearrangements that link up to "improvement" will need review. Here the cost and benefit are compared. E.g. by investing an hour of labor a return of 18 hours is achieved the coming months through improved efficiency in picking. A filter can be applied as of certain degree of benefit vs cost e.g. x3.
All of this allows to list the "rearrangements" in order of priority to drive the actual execution.
💡 Ideally in the analyses the future activities (receipts, sales, etc) are added such a broader view is created and the actions become pro-active instead of reactive.
3️⃣ Last step is then to look at the listed rearrangement and see how this can be executed and optimized and if possible even "automated"
Within execution there are 2 steps:
- The generation of the task
- The actual execution of the task
Remark: Optionally there is also a quality-control of the executed tasks.
💡 Ideally the "generation" and the "execution" of the tasks are both system-wise supported.
Different elements will now come into play:
✅ The generation of the rearrangement
A challange can be to regularly create and execute rearrangement tasks. The better the systems (WMS, scanning, etc) are developed the better they will typically support the rearrangement. E.g. to be able to generate very quickly rearrangement tasks to leverage opportunities in resource availability.
Modern WMS-systems will possibly also support this. Comparable to the creation of replenishment tasks the system can generate rearrangement tasks that even might be executable through the RF-scanners. In some cases the tasks might even be integrated within the other processes to land on an overall higher efficiency; E.g. while Picking out of a location, the remaining quantity is also taken out but instead of being sending it to packing it goes to another department.
The assignment of (first) receipts to proper locations. The better this is fine-tuned (incl. updating towards changing needs) the smaller the manual rearrangement needs will be.
In this an additional step is taken and the system is leveraged to come to a continuous rearrangement. Modern WMS-systemen will possibly support this. This relates among other to the "slotting" of new receipts to changing optimal locations. This method works especially well for rotating stock; where the old location (less optimal meanwhile) is burned of through orders coming in. After a while the goods are located in the more optimal location and no manual intervention was needed.
💡 Notice that till now we were discussing the placement of goods; actually this could be a set of goods within a storage method. E.g; the "Picking hives" where the storage method is moved.
👉 So far the 2nd step in sharing knowledge about rearrangement and how this can used to support and drive operational health.
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