The man hours lost in your warehouse can seriously jeopardise the effectiveness of your business as a whole. A goods inwards delay can prevent the timely manufacture or assembly of finished products and similarly delays in the picking and despatch of those products will mean that your customers will not receive goods on time. What can be a generally accepted first class product can be completely let down by poor warehouse planning.
To start with, a measure of warehouse productivity should be considered. This usually involves a time and motion study but more importantly it should also be considered with a wider view to include real time location systems (RTLS), automated identification and data collection (AIDC).
By analysing all the data collected an accurate plan can be drawn up to help increase speed and efficiencies within your warehouse. The plan can pinpoint and detail the manpower required and the equipment needed to implement that plan. The best movement, storage and picking of products can then be achieved by the selection of the very best tools for the job. This is the point where a team of experts can advise on the equipment requirements and accurately cost out the purchase of those tools.
It is often found that the employment of very simple materials handling equipment can greatly improve the movement, storage and despatch of goods. More sophisticated handling equipment can be considered if the weight, size and numbers of product are such that they require more specialist handling.
A simple check list can be drawn up to better consider the individual products that your business is handling. Something along the lines of the following is often sufficient:
- Physical size of goods to be handled
- Minimum/Maximum weight of product
- Methods of packaging
- Palletised or not
- Method of inward and outward delivery
- Any handling restrictions to be considered – breakable, fragile, liquid, temperature controlled, wet or hazardous etc
- Length of time the goods will be on your premises
- Whether there are sell by dates to consider
However if you are uncertain, help is readily available from industry experts.
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