Do you feel like you are wasting precious time on extended forklift travel lengths in your warehouse/application? Time is money so stop wasting it! Below are a few tips that you can utilize to cut forklift travel times furthermore result in greater efficiency and saving you money.
1st Recognize some Challenges:
- Frequently handled product is separated due to size or storage handling requirements
- Stock-Keeping Units or SKU’s has increased to increased demand for products
- New product lines are being stored wherever there is room
- Aisles are congested with people, equipment, and product
- Floor conditions are poor forcing operators to slow down
- Your fleet is small and may require more trips
- Warehouse layout may cause inefficient workflows
Once you recognize some of the challenges, let’s look at the factors that can reduce forklift travel time:
Warehouse layout design:
If you were to draw an arrow reflecting the path of which product flows in your operation. Maintaining a single-direction flow from receiving to shipping to optimize travel time.
- Try to minimize travel distances between pick up and drop off areas.
- Reduce the amount of forklift and other congestion in high-travel locations.
- Improve the access to product areas.
- Reduce bottlenecking ( See Image Right ).
Do you know what cross-docking is:
- Cross-docking is the process when product from a manufacturer or supplier are distributed directly to the customer or retail outlet with minimal handling and storage time (Fast moving inventory).
- Identify the products that can benefit from cross-docking. Usually, the best products are bar coded with high inventory carrying costs and easy to predict demand.
- Move your cross-docked inventory from inbound delivery, directly to outbound shipping.
Consider the space you have:
- Investigate different types of racks for high volume SKU’s.
- Consider vertical or narrow aisle strategy for better use of space.
Strategically position products:
- Place your high traffic products close to their destinations.
- Store fast-moving or heavy products close to ground level for minimized retrieval time.
- Determine inventory trends based off of seasonal movement, and adjust based on traffic.
For more information or tips on reducing your fleets travel time, contact us at 330-633-6000 and we will be more than happy to provide solutions.