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Material Handling Tips & Info


July 2006 Material Handling Tips & Information Newsletter


The logic of facility layout

Good plant layouts always develop from the general to the specific, never the other way around...

Understanding the logical movement of people, materials and product traveling between the front door and the shipping dock is the primary challenge when developing an efficient plant layout. The ultimate goal is to optimize the workflow of people and product now and into the future. Good plant layouts always develop from the general to the specific, never the other way around...


Protecting records, data, and privacy

Banks, mortgage companies, educational institutions, corporate headquarters, and other providers are increasingly required to keep a larger variety of confidential records and keep them longer. This has caused a paper debacle and adds to security challenges. Security cages can be useful tools in this battle by restricting unauthorized access to these records. Controlling access is key. Besides outright theft, incidental damage can occur if the wrong people are allowed access to vital stored paper records, computers, servers, and other confidential information...


The benefits of intelligent product slotting

Product Slotting is defined as the intelligent location of product in a warehouse or distribution center for the purpose of optimizing material handling efficiency. The basics of product slotting are outlined in this article from CEI Logistics...
Modernizing older AS/RS Systems.


Quick Hits...


* The Average Warehouse: Did you know the average warehouse has 17,000 square feet and was built after 1980? More details from government research available here...

Best Practices in Receiving: There is a good article over at Operations & Fulfillment about “Best Practices in Receiving”. Receiving in the distribution center is often overlooked by management in favor of picking and packing functions, but if receiving isn't done right, it has a direct impact on order selection efficiency. Product that sits on the dock or on a pallet in a remote corner of the warehouse isn’t available for picking.

--A key aspect of receiving is figuring out where to put the product just received. In the most basic systems, the entire storage system relies on fixed locations and often the experience of the put-away operator as well. This may work adequately for smaller operations, but sometimes there will be problems with stock rotation and stock that doesn't fit in the fixed location.

--Above all else, think of ways to facilitate the fastest journey from truck to rack. Every stop, every move, and every item dropped in a temporary staging area takes space, takes time, increases the chances for damage, makes stock hard to find, increases errors, and costs you labor.

--Work with vendors as partners and keep a scorecard. Consider asking your major suppliers to add pallet tags that can be scanned to identify a pallet, a carton, or a product to your receiving system. Think about scheduling your deliveries at times when your order picking volume is low. Keep a scorecard on your vendors to give them feedback and to identify those that regularly fail to measure up. Work with vendors to solve problems, and consider changing vendors if you find resistance or a failure to improve.