Space and Productivity in the Warehouse
(Boonton, NJ, June 25, 2009) For most DC managers, having enough space will always be a challenge. But what many don't realize is that a lack of space has a significant impact on labor productivity.
In an article in the June issue of industry newsletter Distribution Center Management, Fred Kimball, principal of consulting firm Distribution Design, says there is a direct correlation between space and productivity. "If you're always storing your pallets in the aisles, and you don't have enough positions for incoming product, you cause multiple touches, which reduces productivity and throughput."
But sometimes improving space utilization in the DC can seem like an impossible task. In the article, Kimball offers tips to help you get a better handle on your space, which will in turn help improve your labor productivity.
Among his recommendations? Get rid of dead inventory. Kimball recalls one DC that had 30 percent of its storage space dedicated to 1,200 SKUs that had not shipped one unit in five years.
That's a lot of valuable space to waste. And while your CFO might not think there's ever a good time to get rid of inventory, Kimball recommends you generate regular reports and present executive management with the facts on how many SKUs haven't shipped a unit in more than a year, and how much space is allocated to storing those particular SKUs.
About the Distribution Group
For more than 40 years, Distribution Group publications have helped distribution center and warehouse managers increase productivity, cut costs, and meet increasing customer demands. Distribution Group publishes Distribution Center Management newsletter, books and reports, and a free e-newsletter.