Improving Efficiency In Warehouse Operations

Saving Travel Time Inside The Warehouse Increases Productivity

Warehouse General Managers have been looking for ways to increase productivity and improve efficiency among the work that needs to be done in their facilities for years. Sometimes a simple change of procedure can make an impact very quickly.

In a heavy case pick operation, such as the Frozen Store Pick area of Interstate Warehousing’s Franklin facility, one of the biggest factors of lost productivity is the amount of travel time. Making multiple trips back and forth within the warehouse slows the process down considerably. Typical PE (end control) pallet trucks will only allow you to pick orders for a maximum of 8 stores (4 per pallet), because of space constraints.

Logic will tell us that the more orders we are able to pick at one time, the greater the reduction in travel time, therefore increasing productivity in the warehouse. The Franklin maintenance team began looking for an internal, customizable solution that allowed us to utilize our existing equipment, so that we could maintain the flexibility needed if the business model were to change. That team came up with a plan to put together a two-tiered cart, allowing order selectors to double the amount of store orders they can pick at one time.

The results were immediate and staggering. Production from each picker using the cart in the heavy case pick operation increased by 20%. The reduction in travel time means pickers spend less time and effort moving from location to location and more time on the real task at hand, picking product.