Here at Eastpac we strongly believe that efficient warehouse design is a key element to ensuring that the material flow through a warehouse and the supply chain is achieved as quickly and cost effectively as possible. This is why we work with businesses on designing your warehouse layout , improve their warehouse layout and the productivity of their machines and employees in the warehouse.
In this blog post we would like to talk about order picking when designing your warehouse layout; a major focus are when designing the layout of your warehouse.
While there are lots of things to consider when designing your warehouse layout, you need to think about order picking. If you do nothing else, focus on picking. This is because of all the activities that take place in the warehouse, order picking is the primary determinant of design.
Reports show that more than half of all labour hours in retail operations if spent order picking, and half of those hours will be used up on the pickers travelling between the different picking location and the pack location. By making these locations nearer, the picking can be completed quicker and more effectively.
In many cases, this has been a driver for the automation and robotics in some of the major e-commerce distribution centres. But, when it comes to ‘real’ businesses, like yours and mine, rarely does a business have the volume, velocity, and revenue to get a sensible return on investment from technology of this sort.
While the future shows hopes of technology costs coming down to become more affordable, for the moment, most businesses will need to consider more traditional and affordable options.
You need to consider the space in the warehouse and where you can locate stock and activities efficiently. The key driver for picking efficiency should be selecting the right picking methodology. Is it easier for one picker to pick one order, or if you have higher volumes of picking could the distance travelled be reduced, which would result in less labour hours and shorter order cycle times?
When focusing on the efficiency of picking in your warehouse, you need to ensure that your primary objective is to reduce your picking time when designing your warehouse layout.
If you need help with designing your warehouse layout to improve picking efficiency then please contact us directly – we would be happy to help!