If Your Warehouse or Distribution Center is Facing Gridlock, Less Is More
To achieve maximum efficiency in the warehouse or distribution center, industry expert Fred Kimball recommends using no more than 90 percent of your storage space.
(Boonton, NJ, September 3, 2010) Can your forklifts barely clear the aisles in your DC because pallets are on the floor and not in racks? Is your warehouse 100 percent full? Have you tried - and failed - to improve productivity by putting more workers and lift trucks on the floor?
If you can answer yes to any of those questions, your DC's productivity and throughput levels likely are being compromised by clutter, says Fred Kimball, in the September issue of industry newsletter, Distribution Center Management.
To clear the congestion, Kimball, a principal of Distribution Design, says that you need to change the way you think about warehouse space.
Lose the attitude that empty pallet positions and clear aisles represent a waste of space. "A lot of people talk about, 'I want to maximize my storage,'" he says. "That's not a good thing."
To achieve maximum efficiency, Kimball recommends that you use no more than 90 percent of your DC's single-deep rack space, and even less for other types of storage.
Next you need to understand the storage utilization factor and how it applies to your DC. The storage utilization factor is a calculation that makes allowances for the additional pallet positions that must be included in your DC to achieve operational effectiveness.
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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.