Challenge: The current warehouse configuration did not fully exploit the buildings potential, resulting in high levels of external 3rd party storage which was increasing costs and causing inventory tracking issues.
Approach: Product pallet sizes varied enormously, resulting in various dedicated racking bay and aisle widths. Since these were particular to certain products it was important that there was not over provision at the expense of other pallet sizes. The existing practice of loading and unloading at both ends of the warehouse was discontinued to the benefit of materials flow and storage. Zoning of the warehouse according to fast / slow moving lines improved put-away and retrieval activities as did the conversion of the existing mezzanine floor from spares stock to slow moving product lines storage. Unloading shipping container receipts was improved by the use of tongue conveyor systems. Warehouse management systems were reviewed to enable "kit building", which had previously been an issue with allocation of pick faces, replenishment and picking routines.
Conclusion: Racked capacity increased by >30%. More effective use of the mezzanine. New unloading methods and zoning greatly improved productivity. Greater control of kitting operations reduced pick face positions, pick walk and replenishment delays.