UNSKU Your SKUS
HOW TO FIND ANYTHING
HOW TO FIND ANYTHING
Warehouses are the strength and weakness of any wholesale or retail operation and most warehouses have an elementary inefficiency that is hard to remedy.
From receiving to stocking, from picking to shipping, there are a number of ways to lose minutes, and those minutes add up to payroll hours – and that adds to the overhead head expenses and overall cost of merchandise. If a puller or stocker is wasting minutes trying to find out the location of an item, those are minutes that are going to come out of the time allocated to pull the next order. At the end of the shipping day, that means a fat stack of orders that are going to carry over to the next day to be picked, packed, and shipped. See, even after landing and shelving the merchandise, businesses must count the costs of servicing each and every SKU from hitting the loading dock to going back out the door. Day-to-day picking operations not using pick-to-light are burning through money.
Start by working with two types of merchandise, the top sellers and the slow movers, and the pick-to-light picking system. One way to streamline an operation is to create picking zones – one for the stuff that goes out in every order, the other for the slow movers that should be on clearance. Additionally, pairing an item with another item it frequently sells with reduces the steps walked to pick. When a picker takes a cart, your pick-to-light system shows staff where to pick, how many items to pick, and which SKU is needed.
Passing the picked cart to packing, the packer can see special instructions on the pick-to-light device regarding the order. The merchandise is packed, then replaced on the cart and taken to the shipping area. This continuity of custody starts with the pick ticket and ends when the box is going out the door. If minutes can be saved on that one order, that’s how much faster-ordered merchandise can move through the process.
Manage the Minutes and the Hours Will Follow
Unskewing a warehouse full of SKUs starts with inventory control and warehouse management. Businesses do not need to operate on Amazon’s scale in order to be efficient. Set up special warehouse zones for hot merchandise, deploy PTL (pick-to-light) devices, and train your staff to use the new system. A starter kit has just ten PTL devices, a cloud connector box (Turbo), and a SKU-Keeper account. Software integration is a snap, and the PTL system can even operate from an Excel or Google spreadsheet. No bells, no whistles, and no excuses.