Warehouse Design: Dock Doors For Drop Trailers

Warehouse design for outbound flow and dock doors is meant for peak warehouse efficiency. But when you’re operating, things can be different. You’ve checked the picking rates. You’ve calculated staging areas and staffing. Yet when you’re running operations, disaster strikes! You can’t get enough loads into trailers and are constantly building inventory in your shipping … Read more

Getting to Buying

Managing warehouse implementation projects usually involves spending money. Big warehouses will take a lot of money. Spending that money with high efficiency (speed & quality) is a critical part of a successful implementation. Here is what to look out for during the project to stay on track: Identify big spend and long-lead items early Understand … Read more

Calculate Headcount with Quality

Most warehouse professionals understand how to calculate required labor hours but few do it while taking quality rates into account. Let’s look at an example. Picking Labor Example A typical calculation for required headcount for picking looks at the direct picker rates against the volume, then lays on an indirect labor percentage and an absenteeism … Read more

Warehouse Improvement Case Study

Let’s explore a warehouse improvement case study employing lean concepts and a holistic overview approach. The results speak for themselves – 30%+ improvement in cycle times, 30% reduction in labor, improve quality by 10x. How did it happen? Situation The company, “RailCo”, shipped produce and wine by rail from the west coast to the east … Read more

Prioritizing Warehouse Improvement Projects

If you’ve been around “continuous improvement” you know that there are always warehouse improvement projects. Most of the time, they’re not hard to find. Projects are often “low-hanging fruit” where processes are obviously in need of help. But with all that opportunity, while it may not be hard to identify what to do, it may … Read more

Warehouse Efficiency Standards And Turnover Effects

One standard practice to improve warehouse efficiency and productivity is to use performance standards for non-exempt employees. Performance standards management will help ensure that the employees are productive. But you can’t just “turn the knob to 11.” The standards have to be reasonable and attainable. This implies a trade-off: higher standards mean more turnover, which … Read more

Top 10 Warehouse Quality Tips

Having great quality in your warehouse operations makes everything run more smoothly. Records are correct, orders are in full, shorts and damages are minimal… it’s a dream. On the other hand, having poor quality means that your team is always fixing problems, searching for inventory, and firefighting daily. Nobody wants that. It’s stressful and creates … Read more

Warehouse Efficiency Tip – Prototyping

When you’re designing and starting a warehouse, you want it to be as efficient as possible. At the same time, it may not be possible to have full knowledge of how the equipment and systems will interact. You can mitigate this warehouse design risk by testing prototypes of the warehouse equipment before you buy and … Read more

Improving Picking Efficiency With Quality

So you’re serious about improving picking efficiency in your building. You know that picking accounts for around 55% of labor in most operations. Travel time is most of picking labor Of that 55% we see the following distribution of activity: It’s obvious from the table that since travel takes the most time, improvement efforts should … Read more

Warehouse Process Basics – Picking

Let’s talk about the basic process of warehouse picking. Picking is the selection of items that are in storage so that they can be prepared for shipment. Here is an overview of this fundamental process. Another great reference by Ed Frazelle for an overview of warehousing processes and analysis is here. But today we’re just … Read more