The most dangerous phrase in language is... "we've always done it this way." Employees and entire companies get comfortable with executing day to day operations congruent with how operations were executed in the past. This mindset has a tendency to lead into inefficiencies. Left unaddressed, these inefficiencies place a strain on business growth, and as a result have the potential to create a logistics Armageddon. Taking the proper steps early on to identify bottlenecks and develop realistic solutions will allow for greater innovation, and preparation for future growth. Let's address some of the common "always done it this way" mistakes in the Material Handling Industry:
Products being handled too many times - In distribution centers / 3PLs / manufacturing facilities: an item or group of items can pass through several hands before making its way out the door or to its final destination. In most cases, materials don't get more valuable the extra times they are touched. Eliminating unnecessary touches paves the way for increased profitability.
Inefficient storage - It may not be to your advantage to operate under a premise of "We have run out of storage space...getting a larger warehouse or an additional warehouse is the solution". An alternative option to increasing the footprint is to take a look at how efficient the current layout is designed. Are there cube utilization inefficiencies that need to be addressed? Are there higher density storage options that will function better with your storage requirements?
Inventory management - Doing a thorough analysis on throughput and pick locations/frequency of picks can pay dividends, and can suggest re-positioning of SKUs in order to improve efficiency.
Failure to use vertical space - Your warehouse has a 30' clear height, but are only utilizing 16' tall pallet rack. There is a good amount of dead space that can regain value. The wasted space is an opportunity to gain pallet positions. When it comes to small parts storage or materials being stored in shelving, you can also incur dead space between the shelves and aisles required to access the items. Implementing automation, (Vertical Lift Modules) can allow for a significantly greater utilization of the vertical space. This will free up the footprint for more profitable operational activities in your facility.
Learn about the solutions today that will drive growth for your business tomorrow.
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