• Jan Baert

DCwise Insights - Why more "3D-thinking" is needed in warehousing

Updated: Sep 21

DCwise.eu shares in this post ideas on how you can improve your solutions Historically in warehousing the logic is build on a 2D foundation. This comes from the typical 2D layouts and 2D visualizations; while 2D was more or less the maximum "available" method for analysis and visualization. Now in this post we advocate to always validate if a 2D analysis is enough! If not then 3D or even 4D should be looked at.


Reason is that by only taking account 2 dimensions - typically the "height" and/or "time" dimensions are left out of the equation - you could be missing essential insights.


But first of all what is meant with "3D" or even "4D" opposed to "2D"?

- "3D" aims at adding one more dimension to the analysis on top of the 2D analysis. Typically, width & depth are already part of the line of thought, "the typical walking distance" reasoning. Additionally either the vertical movement or "height", or alternatively the "time" element can be added.

- "4D" brings in both additional dimensions into the analysis.

Why & when to go towards more "Dimensions"?

1️⃣ Adding the height

There is a saying that "going up & down takes 4x the time of moving forward". While warehouses are becoming higher and higher a logic takeaway is that it is important in some operations to take into account the movements in height; because without this you could be largely miscalculating time spend or needed. E.g. when all picks are from the top portion of the warehouse - for example without the proper optimization - then the operation could be easily understaffed to cope with this.


2️⃣ Adding time

Makes us move away from just relying on averages, but actually start looking at how the operation is time dependent. This brings in new views on how the operation fluctuates over time. This drives you to start organizing and having time-based tactics. Typical example is the peaks you see near to order cut-offs, or for example the stress increase in an operation when the trucks schedule is peaking. Just working from averages might set you up with too few resources to cope with these peaks and having idle resources at other times.


So when there the workload is very dependent of the vertical dimension or there is time-dependency; then it might be better to validate if a 3D or 4D analysis is needed.


Once its clear that there is a need for more "Dimensions" to be taken into account the next challenge is to visualize this. Note that today as well the drawing tools as the analysis tools have caught up & are supporting this.


Want to start the transformation of your operations?

👉 Then let’s get in touch jan.baert@dcwise.eu or "Get in touch"

#warehousing #warehousesolutions #warehouseoptimization

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