Product slotting is the process of using relevant data associated with each product stored in a warehouse to determine the best storage location based on the material handling equipment available. Both TriFactor’s product slotting software and time-tested processes are valuable tools used to efficiently design a warehouse or distribution center.
Proper product slotting alone has been attributed with a 20%+ increase in picker productivity. How is this accomplished? Slotting will assign fast movers to the most ergonomic levels while simultaneously balancing their location across aisles to reduce congestion. The heavier items are then strategically placed to reduce injury for a combined result of greater productivity. When we slot a forward order picking area, TriFactor’s engineers not only consider the type of storage equipment each SKU is stored in, but also the amount of pick faces or slots required for each product. The results minimize replenishment labor requirements and prevent out of stock situations.
Performing a historical order analysis, known as a velocity analysis, often times results in revealing relationships between specific products. For example, findings conclude that one SKU is always ordered in conjunction with another SKU. If this were the case, TriFactor’s engineers would position them in close proximity to each other. The combination of performing proper product slotting and velocity analysis results in safe, cost efficient and productive operations.
The critical data gathered for each product consists of dimensional information (length, width, height, weight) and velocity for all units of sale. A unit of sale can be an item (broken or split case), full case or pallet. Better said, the same bottle of wine can be sold and distributed as an individual bottle, in a full case of 12 bottles or a full pallet of 400+ bottles. This information helps determine where a product needs to be stored and in what order the product will be picked, so that heavier items are placed on a pallet first in the lower layers.