Although politicians may not be able to agree about whether or not the economy is improving, most companies are seeing business begin to pick up, and their customers are demanding faster deliveries than ever before. Distributors and e-commerce companies in particular are seeking ways to improve processes and cut costs without necessarily adding more labor to their existing workforce.
Yet, with warehouses filled with pallets, cases and pieces, filling orders can often be the most labor-intensive and costly activity for almost every warehouse. That’s because travel time—the time it takes a picker to walk from the point where they receive a pick order to the stored SKU, select the required items, and transport them to the point of shipping—can account for well over half of a facility’s labor activities.
To reduce this time—and cost—distributors are looking for ways to improve or optimize the order fulfillment process.
This white paper proposes six steps designed to help warehouse and distribution center managers establish the foundation of an optimized order fulfillment system that enhances both productivity and accuracy. The six steps include:
- Classify inventory
- Match inventory to storage technology
- Automate to reduce cost
- Slot inventory within the storage technology
- Map processes and workflow to maximize throughput and reduce labor
- Integrate business systems to maximize visibility