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Efficiency Tips from the WERC Annual Conference

Norm Saenz of TranSystems and Harold Baro of SIMOS Insourcing Solutions share some of their best ideas.

(Boonton, NJ, August 2, 2012) — The Warehousing Education and Research Council asked DC experts to present efficiency tips at the group's 35th annual conference in Atlanta.

If you weren't there, here are some of their best suggestions:

  • Use colors and shapes. To make pickers' jobs easier, include colors and shapes on location labels, says Stephen Martin of Panalpina, a global freight and logistics company. These quick cues focus the picker's point of reference as he approaches the picking location and saves precious time.
  • Loosen up your sequencing. All too often, adding bins or racks requires a re-sequencing of your entire numbering and lettering system, Martin says. To make your life easier, skip numbers or letters when you set up your system so later you can add bins or racks without re-sequencing.
  • Start mapping. Tracking the flow of people and product through your facility can teach you a lot, says Norman Saenz of TranSystems Corp. Map material flow through your facility, and map the path a picker takes. Look for backtracking and other wasteful practices.
  • Do a white space assessment. Add up your white space — space that isn't used for productive ends — and see what percentage of total square footage it occupies. Less white space is better, Saenz says — although you don't want to cram so much into your DC that you hamper productivity.

Additional efficiency tips appear in the July issue of Distribution Center Management along with our complete WERC conference coverage.

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