There are sophisticated commercial software packages that assist with slotting planning and maintenance in an ecommerce warehouse. Many company’s operations are not ready for a fully automated system, especially the capital investment and continuing maintenance required.
However almost every ecommerce warehouse can benefit from applying some basic slotting methodology. We will provide an analysis that any warehouse can put in place and gain many benefits.
Slotting is the process of assigning SKUs to picking locations based on various criteria such as unit sales velocity, size, weight or family group. The main objectives in any slotting exercise are to reduce operational costs, make more efficient use of space and minimize replenishment.
Benefits of Effective Slotting
Some of the many benefits of effective slotting:
- Decrease operating costs – as much as 60% to 75% of picker’s time is travel. Effective slotting can reduce travel significantly, lowering the cost per unit picked.
- Improve storage capacity – right-sizing pick slots based on product cube and sales velocity improves space utilization, which can often delay expansion or the need for a warehouse move.
- More efficient picks – better locations for advertised or seasonally promoted products; “hot pick” high volume items; and products that often sell together.
- Improved ergonomics – fast-moving units placed in “golden zones,” i.e. locations that are easier to pick from, with no bending or reaching. This improves order cycle time, reduces replenishment trips and reduces put-away and picking time.
- Increased accuracy – by separating similar products or SKUs that could be mis-picked.
- Load and zone balancing of work – reduces congestion and contention for material handling equipment.
Create an Analysis Report
This type of report allows you to analyze product movement for a period of time, generally a season or a year. This should be done in one of two ways:
- Unit sales: From the item master file, analyze unit…