Changing out products in live storage is done for a number of reasons. Sometimes the product slows in demand. In some cases, the product’s shelf life is soon to expire. Changing product availability quickly and with little or no interruption to order pickers is essential to an operation’s efficiency. Whether in a typical warehouse scenario or in the stockroom of a retail store, reloading and replacing product relies on the shelf’s storage design.
Flow racks can be designed in a number of ways. At Unex, we have racks that load from the back and send product out through the front with gravity flow racks. We also have pick shelves that can be adjusted for offloading unused cartons at the back of the shelf if necessary. For example, if a product’s shelf life is about to expire, you will probably need to remove the cartons.
Another option is to keep fresh product on mobile dynamic storage racks ready to replace outdated inventory. Using storage racks on casters allows the older product to be replaced by the new product quickly and efficiently. The old rack is simply rolled away, and the new one put in place. The casters have locks on them to prevent movement while order picking takes place.
Keeping track of turnover rates and dates can be challenging for warehouse operation managers. Using automation and computer tracking helps. Tags and date stamps on products and shelves help to prevent order pickers from packing and sending out inferior products. Stocking fewer items with slower turnover should prevent waste of time and overages of outdated product. Grouping items on the same rack with the same expiration date is ideal in concept, but not all products have the same turnover rate. Some items will need more frequent replenishment than others.
When it’s time to upgrade the efficiency of changing out dated products and improving inventory control, contact our Unex office to help you determine what’s available for your type of operation.