When people think about their bottom line, most immediately jump to their sales numbers and focus on how to improve those. And while that is an incredibly important aspect of your company’s finances, it is not the only place where value can be found. Here at UNEX, our Pickologists are obsessed with value. Everything in your warehouse has a value. The products you store have an easily calculated value, but what about where you store them? How about the time it takes to pick and ship them? Those all have value too, and if your storage and picking operations aren’t as efficient as they can be, that value- or lack thereof- can add up quickly.
One way to ensure that you’re getting the most value possible out of your storage and picking operations is to move to a carton flow system. Space is an asset that many warehouses sorely lack. If expanding your space or moving to a bigger space isn’t an option, then carton flow makes even more sense. The biggest advantage of carton flow is consolidation of space. It takes your products, gives you a storage medium and not only consolidates it but also organizes it. Not only are you maximizing the most precious resource you have- space- but you can also expect to see increased pick rates from your employees.
In almost all warehouses, there is space that is not being used as efficiently as possible. We can calculate the value of your current space and demonstrate to you how a carton flow system can measurably improve your space utilization, freeing up valuable space to be used in the future or for something else now. Maybe there is air space in your warehouse that you aren’t using because you’re storing product on the floor. Maybe extra space is being taken up because you’re storing things on pallets. With carton flow, you can consolidate that down into linear storage to free up that space for another use. Consolidated storage can significantly cut down on travel time, and time is money. If you’re in a grocery store and want some chips and salsa for a party, does it make sense to have the chips in aisle 1 and the salsa in aisle 14? That’s 13 aisles worth of space that you have to travel to get two things that should be stored side by side. Now imagine that time spent, multiplied by all of your employees over the course of a whole year.
Another advantage of carton flow is better organization. It will identify lanes and locations so that there is a slot bin for each item and pickers can be directed to that exact spot. This is much more efficient than directing employees by product name. Consider the example of the mail carrier. If a letter is sent to Mrs. Brown at the Shady Oaks apartment complex but with no apartment number included, and if the Shady Oaks apartment complex has 96 apartments, then there are 96 possible places where Mrs. Brown could be. However, if the mail carrier is directed to Mrs. Brown, Shady Oaks Apartment Complex Unit 19, we’ve cut her possible locations to one, and the mail carrier can spend less time searching and more time delivering mail to other people besides Mrs. Brown.
Demonstrating ROI on products like carton flow can sometimes be difficult. But by demonstrating the importance and value of your employees’ time and your warehouse’s space, it comes much more clearly into focus. Contact a Pickologist now to see how UNEX can help maximize the value of your operation.