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TriFactor White Papers

 

TriFactor shares thoughts on effective ways to reduce costs, increase capacity and improve the accuracy of your distribution facility.

Ways to Improve Material Handling Efficiency

 
Critical Factors when Choosing an Order Picking System

 

Planning a Warehouse or Distribution Center

 

Choosing a Conveyor System

 

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TriFactor Articles

Articles featured in trade publications that highlight our Client Partners projects, TriFactor and information written by TriFactor's staff. 

 

The Five Most Common Mistakes When Planning a Distribution Center by TriFactor's Craig Bertorello and featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive (online).  

 

Seven Factors to Consider When Choosing an Order Picking System by TriFactor's Richard Gillespie and featured in Industrial Distribution (online).

 

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Material Handling Systems Engineering and Design: Product Slotting Analysis

product slotting: distribution center or warehouse slotting software and analysis

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.

Effectively slotting a distribution center or warehouse with a CubiScan portable product dimensioning system

TriFactor uses a CubiScan portable product dimensioning system that easily and accurately captures a product’s physical dimensions and stores the information automatically in a database or spreadsheet.  Consider the multiple benefits gained from using warehouse slotting software and gathering these details; operations has accurate dim-weights for shipping which then could result in potential freight costs reduction.

When and how often do you perform a product slotting analysis?  Obviously this should be done when planning a new or re-engineering an existing warehouse or distribution center.  Additionally, product slotting should be conducted on a schedule driven by changes in demand of existing products, seasonality of items, and frequency new products enter your inventory.

TriFactor’s Paul Hansen and Kelvin Gibson collaborated on a white paper titled “Effectively Slotting a Warehouse or Distribution Center”, which has been published in multiple trade magazines including: Supply & Demand Chain Executive, Industrial Distribution and Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery.

TriFactor is sought out by companies nationwide to provide solutions that reduce inventory and delivery time, lower costs of manufacturing, distribution and transportation, and improve customer service.  If you are looking for an Edge on your competition, discover how TriFactor can make a difference, call today at 1-800-507-4209.

For additional information on material handling related topics, please visit the TriFactor Learning Center