Updated: Jun 23, 2021
DCwise.eu shares in this post ideas on how you can improve your warehouse storage.
In this post we go through a stepwise approach for review of where the opportunities for improvement lie.
But before we focus on the problem it’s key to understand the 4 elements that contribute to the proper usage of the available 3D space:
✔️ Inventory profile – what is being stored?
In this map out what currently is using the space. In what category does the material fall? Is it inventory, or indirect goods, and so on? In this make sure to note what the purpose and the impacts are of what is being stored. Next go deeper on the different materials by using methods such as e.g., a velocity class distribution- and product profile-reviews while this can be interesting to see if & where should be stored.
✔️ Layout – what is your storage and processing layout?
In this it is all about optimally assigning space between processes, storage & support. All 3 need to be in balance towards each other and the needs. This especially when the available space becomes an issue. Practically one can make a block-layout; in this one maps out the m² and m³ in use.
✔️ Storage solution – what methods are used to store?
Rack types, floor storage and shelve storage are some of the common solutions used. Every method has its own m² usage of the layout and m³ link to the inventory. Besides this the different solutions allow different types of goods, packaging, etc. to be stored more and less efficient. In this one can map out the different types of solutions, with their types and numbers of locations, and all the valid parameters (weight capacity, allowed dimensions, etc.).
✔️ Slotting parameters – where to store what?
Slotting is defining the best fit location for your products based on their dimensions, velocity, etc. Interesting is to make the link with the inventory profile. What goods are stored in which method, driving a.o.'s a storage density.
Now that we are more familiar to the 4 building blocks these need to be integrated within the analysis.
As per the DCwise approach we go through the following steps:
1️⃣Facility Scan - "As Is" Operational review of storage and processing solution. This is where one becomes familiar with the operation, it needs and business requirements, get an idea of what works well and what does not work. In this the "challenge" is mapped out properly: e.g., structural out of space in storage method "A"; while solution B is ok.
2️⃣Data Analysis - In this first the 4 elements are worked out in the right depth for the current solution. Important part of the data analysis to define required storage capacity of the "To be" solution. Take in this the right forecasts and future changes into account. Try to find here the "right" level of depth into the analysis that gives the needed insights without overdoing.
3️⃣Solution Engineering - Based on the quantitative analysis, business requirements, industry best-practices, the initial facility scan and out of the box thinking the best-fit solution is defined. In this a focus on the area where the most benefit can be gained might be a good first scenario to be evaluated. E.g., one of the storage methods is a floor storage of goods that can be placed in racks. When "space" is an issue; then placing these foods in racks might be a good first scenario. Multiple scenarios can in this be looked at where they can be compared on return on investment. Often the change, risk and other factors are brought into the evaluation of the most fitting solution.
4️⃣Implementation - Create a Transformation plan and execute the implementation. In the transformation plan the different needed "changes" are placed in a proper order on a timeline this as a good plan of attack towards the implementation.