What is Warehouse Slotting?

English: Pallets ready for shipping at the UNI...
English: Pallets ready for shipping at the UNICEF world warehouse in Copenhagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With inappropriate slotting your company is wasting time and money in its ability to pick items for shipping at the fluency they should be. Remember its about the movement of people and the more time they have to move between aisles the less time there is left to ship out orders.

In your kitchen you have your spices near your stove for easy access while cooking, same with your dishes and glasses which are usually placed in your cupboard near the sink. The credit card you use most frequently is the first one inside your wallet. This is an example of slotting. Each item needs to be placed in its own special slot for easy accessibility.

Warehouse slotting uses the same principle. The most important products that you sell or sell most often should be placed in the best slot in the warehouse for ease of accessibility and dispatch reduction time. If you are struggling to move to the back of the warehouse on the top shelf for products that sell the most you are loosing money through time. By proper warehouse slotting not only are you saving time and money you will see your distribution time and shipping time increase thus you are making profits. TouchPath uses your current slotting system to get the best out of our implemented warehouse system.

Your warehouse should be ‘slotted’ based on your sales of a particular product, you can use your sales data to help optimise your warehouse layout design. The best sales items should be slotted toward the front of your warehouse wherein the least sold items should be slotted toward the back of your warehouse.  Therefore, your warehouse should be slotted first by the fastest moving item, the second fastest, the third and so on down the line.

In order to properly slot your warehouse consideration needs to start at the beginning such as how your orders are picked.  If a picker has a fixed starting point then returns to the starting point after the picked order is finished the items will be ranked by the distance from starting point to finish point. As, some warehouses have a ticket area, where ‘pickers’ conjugate to collect their next job and then finish in a dispatch zone.

Load building for pallets is also important to take into consideration. When you are picking to load your shipping pallets the heavy items need to be on the bottom whereas the light and fragile items need to be loaded on the top.  Your pick paths need to be analyzed for the best slot for efficiency.

Replenishing your product also comes into play when properly slotting your warehouse. This may, according to your sales, involve re-slotting the warehouse for better efficiency.  There is no such thing as perfect warehouse slotting plan as it all depends on your sales and what products you are selling.  If you are a distributor with seasonal products then obviously your warehouse will need to be re-slotted for the picker’s efficiency during any seasonal product you are selling at the time. There also has to be re-slotting for inventory that is not moving and will be stored until that particular products season is open. By simply ranking your products by their sales numbers and slotting your warehouse accordingly you will find that your picking and shipping efficiency will increase making for not only cheerful employees and happy customers but a more profitable company.

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