Once the company has established better inventory control, through Warehouse Management Systems, it is now in a position to optimize tasks…and gain real payback. On average, labor makes up for 60% of the cost of distribution, and of the labor, 60%+ is in the picking and packing operation. While the list is considerable for ROI driven ways to lean the pick/pack processes, such as conveyors and automation, for mid-sized companies, the greatest opportunities for task optimization are:
Batch/Multi-Order Picking aggregates multiple orders into a more efficient way to pick. Examples include directing the picker to gather inventory, usually a single SKU pick (eCommerce) and bring the inventory forward to be packed for shipping. In cases of multiple lines, the system can assemble multiple orders to a cart and direct the user on a pick run where the picker completes multiple orders in a highly efficient manner.
Replenishments of forward pick areas is important to evaluate for the ROI. Whereas companies can boast of having solutions for inventory control, without the inventory being available in the pick slot…what good is it? Replenishment solutions, especially ones that account for demand before the picking has started, ensure for the highest possible inventory control combined with the greatest optimization.
Leaning packing processes in favor of picking to shipping containers can dramatically reduce a significant bottle neck…packing stations. By having the system determine the carton size and type before the picking starts in combination with determining the carrier and generating/applying the manifest label…then picking to that cart…material handling is greatly reduced and an entire step is bypassed.
Given the overall budget for warehouse, task optimization often reduces operating costs 20 – 30%! It is not unrealistic to expect users to achieve 300+ lines picked per hour…sometimes more.
ROI CHECK POINT : Task Optimization
Mid-sized companies operations need to be nimble. The process put in place today WILL change tomorrow. Ensure the solution not only has capability for task optimization in the core feature set, but a technology that allows for change as the business needs dictate. Lots of WMS solutions only have their core features…then expensive services to modify the system. For more information on how Accellos can help, reach out
Learn more about the Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems