Order picking can easily consume more than half of a warehouse's resources. Since order picking is one of the most labor-consuming, time-consuming, and budget-consuming aspects of warehouse operations, streamlining it is one of the biggest ways warehouses can improve tight profit margins. Warehouses can adopt many strategies for improving their order picking efficiency. In the effort to create more efficient operations, warehouse managers need to take advantage of the opportunities provided by industrial pallet racks.
More than simply a place to store pallets, these racking systems are also a tool for improving efficiency within the warehouse. Consider these suggestions for using your racking systems to improve your ability to quickly and cost-effectively fulfill orders.
Choose racking systems that contribute to efficiency for your warehouse.
Every type of pallet racking system has both advantages and disadvantages. A space-saving system like a pushback system or mobile shelving, for example, can reduce the need for aisles, but also increase order picking time.
As a result, warehouses need to carefully consider their storage and their order picking needs when selecting a racking system for their space.
For example, a warehouse that has ample floor space might prefer a selective racking system because of the easy access it provides, while another warehouse might find that its productivity increases when it can store a few high-demand SKU's in one location with high-density industrial pallet racks.
The good news is that there are enough warehouse racking systems out there to meet any need. Warehouses should not hesitate to consult with a qualified dealer to identify the solutions that will deliver the greatest productivity for their space and storage circumstances.
Use industrial pallet racks to maximize the use of floor space for high-demand items.
Studies show that materials handling productivity is maximized when items are closer to the floor. This makes sense: Items close to the floor require less specialty equipment, training, and time to access than do items stored close to the ceiling.
It isn't always possible to keep items close to the floor. However, warehouses may be able to improve the efficiency of their picking operations by keeping high-demand items on lower shelves and low-demand items on higher shelves.
For example, warehouses may want to create long lines of shelving that run along the walls and aisles, rather than breaking that shelving up into choppier segments. Doing so increases the storage capacity of that shelving, allowing warehouses to store more items close to the floor.
Increasing storage space low to the ground, and reserving it for high-demand items, increases the efficiency with which employees can pick those items. Better picking efficiency on your most-handled items can lead to improvement in your overall efficiency and in the use of your warehouse resources.
Use pallet racking to organize high-demand SKUs in one location.
High-demand SKUs take up an outsized portion of warehouse and picking resources. Reducing the amount of time it takes to pick those SKUs can lead to the biggest improvements in your company's order picking efficiency.
To that end, you may want to use your industrial pallet racks to group high-demand SKUs in a single, easy-to-reach location. High-density solutions, like pushback systems, can provide a way to compactly store large amounts of a limited number of SKUs. Having these placed in easy-to-access locations can reduce travel time for pickers, thereby improving their productivity and driving down picking costs.
Use pallet racking to organize related SKUs in one location.
Another strategy that can improve order picking efficiency is to group SKUs that are often ordered together in one location. Doing so allows pickers to fulfill an entire order without traveling to multiple locations throughout the warehouse.
Industrial pallet racks can assist with this grouping. For example, a pushback system allows for the storage of multiple SKU's in a space-saving arrangement. If you choose your SKUs wisely, pickers can easily access all of the items for your most common orders in one location. Place these racking systems near easily accessible locations to further reduce travel time and boost productivity.
That type of easy access allows for the rapid fulfillment of your most common orders. As a result, you can pick more orders in the same amount of time, reducing wasted time and reducing the amount of resources you spend on order picking.
Get professional assistance when choosing pallet racking systems.
Achieving order picking efficiency is possible with the right racking systems. If you need help finding the right products for your needs, reach out to a professional dealer like Darr Equipment. We have a wide range of products to meet your order picking needs and can offer guidance and support to help you find the right racking solutions for your warehouse.
Pallet racking systems can help you reduce travel time and save money on picking orders. Choose those systems that contribute to efficiency in your warehouse. Use pallet racking to maximize your use of floor space for high-demand items. Organize high-demand SKUs in one location, and arrange related SKUs together. Do not hesitate to reach out to a professional dealer for help finding the right equipment for your warehouse. Once you have the right system in place, you can enjoy a warehouse that runs as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.