It might be hard to believe, but there are things that warehouses and fulfillment centers can learn from retail. From time to time retail operations undertake a process called “reset.” The Chronicle explains that a reset is a whole-store rearrangement of products that can include everything from rearranging shelves to moving gondolas, to remodeling the entire store. Why do this? It has to do with the flow – both the flow of customers through the store as they select their products, in the flow of products from the stockroom to check out. In retail stores manufacturers compete for space at eye level, it is a premium that drives sales. When a store’s sales decline or merchandise simply sits, it might be time to change things up and do some rearranging.

Plan with a Planogram

When undergoing a reset, products are placed according to a planogram. These are diagrams used by retail that show where specific products are positioned to better drive sales to customers. These schematics dictate not only where products are placed on a shelf, but where shelves are situated within the store. For instance, when shopping in the grocery store, you may notice that the aisle with the salad dressings and condiments is directly next to the produce section. The flow from the produce section to that file is a natural movement and makes it more likely that the shopper will pick up salad dressings to go along with their salad.

Warehouse Planogram

Planning space in a warehouse, fulfillment center or stockroom can be made easier and more efficient by following these two principles of planogram and resetting. By looking at warehouse KPI, it becomes evident which products are moving faster and need to be accessed more quickly by warehouse pickers. Likewise, merchandise that needs to be cleared out should be transferred to the front, heavily discounted, and sold to make way for new goods. For best results, a live inventory paired with a pick-by-light (or put-by-light) system will show which products are moving too quickly and will need frequent restocking or moving too slowly and need to be placed on clearance. Pick-to-Light is a versatile tool that shows warehouse staff where to pick or put away by using up to five lines of text to communicate with pickers by name and offering useful information, including barcodes, QR codes, arrows, and/or hazard icons.

How Long Will it Take?

The process for doing a planogram and reset is time-consuming. It can take weeks to determine the best layout for the warehouse, how to place the goods, and then generate a planogram. On top of that, warehouse shelves are fixed instead of the shelves and gondolas that you would find in a market or retail store. Working with professional shelving contractors and going section by section will allow operations to continue while the reset is underway. Even though customers are not doing walk in the way they went with a retail establishment, they should be informed that there may be some shipping delays as you undergo this process. When you’re finished, your warehouse, stockroom, or fulfillment center will operate more smoothly with less time needed to fill pick tickets, pack, and ship.

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