To meet the needs of the high velocity world of e-commerce, conveyors and sorters must be a smart, fast, and efficient component of a production or order fulfilment engine. Driven by the need for flexibility, speed, and maximum uptime, customers are turning to a new generation of technologies—and new ways to minimize and optimize conveyor and sortation solutions—that enable nimbleness while cutting costs.
A well-designed warehouse management system integrates computer systems, material handling equipment and people into a single working system. The benefits are cost savings as well as improved customer service. There are five key benefits of a well-designed WMS. A warehouse management system (WMS) is the backbone of day-to-day warehouse operations. WMS software applications help centralize warehouse tasks such as tracking stock locations and inventory levels.
Zero Information Errors
A WMS can eliminate errors using several methods. You can maintain 100% information verification resulting in excellent tracking. Every shipping operation is system-directed, and each product will move with more accuracy, thus eliminating operator error.
Improved Information Lead Times
Lead times are improved by moving from paper based to electronic transmissions. Electronic data and radio communications used in your WMS lower lead times exponentially. A WMS brings lead times to nearly zero, contributing greatly to your bottom line. The speed of this accuracy assists in everything from faster turnaround time to plans for loading trucks, freight ratings, personnel requirements and order prioritization.
Maximize Your Team
A well-designed WMS increases your team’s productivity. It can select tasks from a queue of all pending activities and prioritize them. It can also provide feedback to the management team to assist with future planning including peak labor hours. When you ship perfect orders, your demand history is not cluttered with repeat shipments or replacement materials for incorrectly shipped items, helping to ensure that your demand history is clean. The correct WMS not only improves your perfect order rate, it can use the history to predict future demand using a “best fit” algorithm to calculate demand.
A WMS can improve space utilization in your facility. The system can tell an operator where to put an item and maximize each slot for the best fit. Ensuring inventory is stored in the proper environment and used in the best order helps to minimize scrap, waste, and obsolescence. Improved record accuracy allows you to minimize safety stock, on hand quantities and lot sizes so you can achieve savings.
A WMS can improve capacity by allowing goods to move more quickly through the warehouse. A WMS provides quality information and with zero information lead time, it can allow you to reduce inventory levels. It can also use cross-docking to reduce handling and storage needs. Cross-docking can be an efficient way to achieve continuous flow throughout your operation. A WMS that can anticipate receipts, customer orders and item movements can maximize cross-docking opportunities.
Before selecting your WMS be sure the system you are considering has the right capabilities for your business. For help with selecting contact us today and we can assist you in understanding all your options.
Automated warehousing applied to part or all of a distribution center can provide a wide range of benefits including space savings, lower building costs, improved productivity, more efficient material flow, less people, safer operations, reductions in inventory, increased reliability, reduced running costs, better ROI and lowest lifecycle cost.
Automated warehousing systems provide the maximum possible usage of available floor space and building height. In some cases, this enables companies to increase storage capacity by up to 400% compared to conventional forklift operations. Where space is limited, switching to an automated warehousing solution can free up additional space for other activities, such as manufacturing.
Automated warehousing systems offer tremendous performance in terms of productivity. Not only do they work faster than forklifts and narrow aisle trucks, they can also operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, keeping product on the move.
Automated warehousing systems can also enhance the efficient flow of materials through a manufacturing facility or distribution center. By integrating the system with production materials handling systems, raw materials, tools, parts, work-in-process, and finished goods can all be efficiently delivered to where they are required.
The systems can be set up to provide a buffer storage function on assembly lines, and can service multi-floor applications. By using automated storage and retrieval machines the need for drivers/operators is eliminated. Compared with conventional methods, and calculated over the life of the machine, savings can be substantial and the ROI can be highly attractive.
With integrated location and inventory control software combined with faster throughput, it is possible to reduce stock levels. Inventory can be accurately tracked at all stages, maximizing stock availability. Stock control can also be improved, with the software enabling goods to be automatically picked on a First In First Out basis , or by ‘use-by’ date etc.
Once the automated warehouse has been set up, ongoing operating costs are minimized. Typical warehousing costs involving refueling or recharging of batteries, regular mechanical and electrical maintenance, and staffing, lighting are also minimized.
KMH offers a free Operational Audit which can give you the most efficient and cost effective evaluation of your operation. We provide you with all the available ways to automate your facility and get the most out of your current budget while still optimizing your ROI.
In order to calculate a return on investment in your warehouse, it is critical to evaluate your work flow process. Is there a process that results in frequent errors or causes slow downs in the follow on processes? Identifying and correcting these conditions first will increase your ROI quickly, and have significant impact on your business operations. The goal here is to take a small amount of time to have a significant improvement in your profits.
First, in your receiving area, examine how many receivers you have. Lower costs by calculating if you can decrease labor to your busiest time slots. How many hours per week are spent on receiving? Streamline the workers to the peak receiving times and use a skeleton crew during slower times.
Ask Your Team For Suggestions
The people doing the work can see improvements on a daily basis and come up with ideas that can help them get the work flow moving more efficiently and faster.
Manage Your Inventory
Use a warehouse management system to gain inventory and warehouse accuracy so you can reduce stock levels. It also provides visibility to real-time inventory, which can potentially eliminate lost product and reduce overstocks.
Follow Up With Customers
Customer satisfaction is often hard to measure, but it is valuable. Having the right product to deliver to customers at the right time and to the right place helps increase ROI by retaining customer loyalty. A quick follow up in these fast moving times is priceless to your clients.
Improve Your Shipping Speed
How many workers are picking shipments and for how many hours? Can this be lowered? How many errors occur per week in the picking process and how many hours does it take to correct one error? Eliminating error every week instantly increases your ROI, determine the savings for this process improvement.
A few improvements will increase your ROI over time. Sometimes it is the simple changes that allow for the greatest improvements. Your company products will roll out on time, and both your customers and workers will be happy.
For a Free Operational Audit on more ways you can approve your productivity contact us!
Productivity in the workplace doesn’t happen by accident. The most successful business owners will tell you it takes a team, procedures and the productive daily flow of your operation.
Here are five tips from Team KMH to add to your success:
Regardless of whether you run a warehouse, shop, or office every business thrives on systems and procedures. When, how and who in the organization can be contacted for your next move in a timely manner ups your efficiency and flow. Timely movements of your needle change everything in a millisecond and with the world moving at the speed of light thanks to the internet efficient systems of communication are crucial to your success.
Clear Lines of Communication
Clear communication amongst your team and management is also a sign of a business with the intention to succeed and excel at interpersonal excellence. It allows the most junior of employees have the opportunity to voice concerns or thoughts about the operation of the business. Good two-way communication has been shown to cut down on injuries, workplace mishaps, and business angst.
Build a Team
This helps them feel comfortable in the work environment and on the job. When you have a good culture with employees that fit, your turnover rate is lower. Developing a successful team over time is only possible if you retain their interest in companywide success – this lifts your top talent. Designing a system where employees routinely work together during these processes helps develop team chemistry. Each team member also develops a sense of commitment to the work place and the company’s bottom line
Evolve & Grow
Once your team is formed and has reached an initial goal, raise the stakes. Look for a larger goal and encourage more complex approaches. The novelty of being on a team can wear off if the team performs in a repetitive way.
One way to help a team stay strong is to celebrate victories. Pay for a night of celebration at a local restaurant or bar when your team reaches a goal. The sense of common accomplishment and shared congratulations can help a team bond.
When you’re thinking about what you’d like to do in 2016, here are 5 resolutions KMH can help you keep and profit from for the whole year. When it comes to your warehouse operation, since you work on it all day, every day, the New Year is a good time to look at improvements you can make.
Accidents happen often enough, since there are tens of thousands of these types of collisions–and serious injuries–every year. Have a plan, it should be enforced by clear rules, and by training. Accidents are costly in too many ways and are truly worth an ounce of prevention for a smooth day and year.
Analyze & Consolidate
From an order picking standpoint, if you aren’t automated, the reality is that you should look to reduce steps more than eliminating them. To do this, logical inventory slotting is critical. Can items that are often shipped together be stored together in flow storage, shelves, or racks? Can items that are very high volume be stored at the most convenient place? Can items that are required in terms of an assembly or manufacturing process be slotted beside each other in storage positions? One common method is to replace static storage with carton flow, since gravity flow uses floor space more efficiently. Be sure to plan for flexibility and scalability so you can adjust as you grow.
You can leverage a tremendous amount of time savings by implementing carousels, conveyors, or other automated solutions that let people work. KMH can perform a free Operational Audit to show you ways to save by implementing simple and even dynamic conveyor and automation systems that lower your cost per unit shipped.
Increase your ROI
You can lower your operational costs by letting us help you review and understand your investment into every stick of equipment, every piece of software, and every person working in your facility. You can stop making decisions on initial purchase price, and work toward making decisions on the full cost of ownership.
Leverage Your Operational Costs
Electrical usage & pneumatics usage are going to factor heavily in your up time. Utilizing the right drives, motors, and reducers can significantly reduce cost over time. Turning off the lights is a simple “no brainer” to lowering your electric bill over the course of the year as well. Regular maintenance of heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems if you have them—including changing filters regularly—is important for good operation and to avoid wasting energy.
Upgrade To More Efficient Lighting
Lighting is typically one of the largest consumers of energy in a warehouse; accordingly, it often can represent the best opportunities for savings. KMH can help you find lighting savings by installing the most appropriate lighting technology and showing you how to control it effectively. If you are planning to install new lighting technology, our reps can perform a lighting survey and present you with all the options you need for saving and the money you will save on the change.
Call 888-564-7978 for your free operational audit so we can help you keep everyone safe.