Slotting: warehouse productivity
14 September 2021
Slotting is the process of determining the best location of goods within the warehouse. This improves the warehouse productivity. A good slotting strategy is necessary to ensure the efficient installation of goods. For example, decreasing delivery times or more expensive warehouses mean that companies have to optimize the performance of their storage space to remain competitive.
The major role that logistics plays in many small businesses is the focus on their products and services to best meet their customer’s needs. Because without those products and services, the business wouldn’t exist.
The term slotting describes the strategy of distributing goods to different locations in the warehouse. This strategy is intended to increase warehouse productivity of processes such as:
- Receiving products.
- The preparation of orders to ship later on.
- This logistic procedure is essential due to the difficulty of expanding storage spaces. Therefore, with the new consumer trends, the location of each SKU must now be prioritized in order to serve orders more quickly. In addition to the use of warehouse space.
Therefore, the ideal slotting strategy to improve a warehouse productivity should be adapted to the needs of each type of warehouse and be based on different criteria such as: the turnover rate of each product, the expiration date of the item, the flow of goods in the warehouse or the optimal picking routes.
Among the advantages of slotting are: optimization of storage space, increased warehouse productivity and product tracking.
Optimization of storage space
In this case, slotting considers all available locations in the warehouse. This means that it does not favor only certain areas or others depending on the type of goods. This results in a better utilization of the warehouse space.
Increasing warehouse productivity
A good location strategy is one that analyzes the time spent picking each of the products and determines the positions of the goods. Its objective is to reduce the time spent on these movements in order to increase warehouse productivity.
This product location strategy avoids making mistakes in the product tracking area. This ensures that you can know, at all times and in real time, what has been the exact movement of a product along its passage through the warehouse and stretching once outside as well.
Tracking numbers are numbers design and assigned to packages whenever they are ready to be shipped. This way, tracking numbers serve the purpose of knowing the location in real time of different kind of deliveries.
In addition, in order to optimize space and thus increase productivity, a slotting strategy must be designed taking into account the current characteristics and flows of each warehouse. There can’t be a generic one because what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another.
Software and automation
Digitalization has become the best method to eliminate inefficiencies in logistics processes. This also includes product placement. A warehouse management system (WMS) can then design an optimal stock placement strategy without errors, and based on the criteria set by the warehouse manager.
New logistics trends are increasing productivity within warehouses. For example, the desire to reduce delivery times for e-commerce orders has caused logistics centers to look for ways to achieve better performance from their locations. It is important to remember that efficient bin management within the warehouse reduces the workload of pickers, for example. It also optimizes the flow of goods movements within the warehouse.
To ensure an error-free procedure, it is necessary to use software that automates these logistics processes. This is because, at the end of the day, a manual management of the bin strategy in a busy warehouse can then lead to serious errors and unnecessary extra costs.
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