Reducing Costs With Warehouse Optimization and Warehouse Management Tools
With warehouse space at a premium, it's essential to make the best possible use of your square footage. Find out how warehouse optimization tools can help optimize your space and reduce costs.
- Warehouses can reduce costs and cut down on waste by increasing density, boosting picking and packing, optimizing warehouse arrangements, and enhancing processes.
- Technology like warehouse and Inventory Management Systems, 3D Visualization, and Motionmining can help achieve these goals.
The CBRE’s 2021 report highlighted that eCommerce is fuelling the need for 40 million square feet of new warehouse space by 2025.
The piece highlighted that with limited logistics availability, it's essential for companies to conduct real estate strategy reviews early to get the locations that best suit their business goals.
At Routeique™, we know that a key part of warehouse management is securing the ideal location and adequate space. That's why we offer facility optimization services focused on consulting to help our clients optimize or plan for the next phase of their growth.
Optimizing Warehouse Space
Opening a new location? Attempting to increase efficiency at an existing one? Either way, it's important to ensure that your warehouse runs as efficiently as possible. This is especially important in a climate where warehouse space is becoming increasingly costly.
- Is your warehouse optimized for the greatest storage density and the most efficient throughput possible?
- Can your existing operation be enhanced and better orchestrated? Increasing inventory turns and fill rates can alleviate the need for an additional footprint.
With our clients, one essential part of our scope is analyzing their current processes. This enables us to determine how we can help them improve. Our goal is always to help our clients get as much value as possible out of their space.
Optimizing Product Categorization and Placement Within a Warehouse
When determining how to optimize your warehouse space, we help clients consider:
- peak storage requirements
- average storage requirements
- the volume of product and the number of SKUs and batches
- ROI on any new equipment
- inventory turnover
- slotting strategy
- load optimization
- route optimization and tour planning
- seasonal fluctuations
Determining and Addressing Warehouse Needs With Supply Chain Technology
Technology also plays a key part in determining customer needs and delivering solutions. Below are a few examples of options which have benefited our clients.
Increasing Storage Density With a Warehouse Management System
One consideration is whether the system is being supported with a Warehouse Management System (WMS). If not, this is an easy area for improvement: with a WMS, clients can increase their storage density from a recommended maximum of 80% to 90%.
Tracking Products and Improving Picking and Packing With an IMS
Inventory Management technology can help you stay aware of the physical location of products within the warehouse. This assists with slotting strategy and suggesting the ideal pathways for order picking and product receiving. We use pick-bot technologies to test alternative layouts to find the most efficient alternatives.
Optimizing Warehouse Arrangements With 3D Visualization
3D visualization and digital twins allow clients to re-disk any expensive rearrangements by exploring alternatives ahead of making the investment.
Enhancing Processes and Safety With Motion Mining
Our partners at MotionMiners' AI-Driven Motion-Mining Manual Process Intelligence technology can help identify any safety or efficiency issues, replacing traditional process observation to identify areas for optimization.
VP Kaitlin Mercier explains how a deep dive into customer data in areas such as product affinity also plays a role: "What we did for [our large brewery client] was we went ‘OK, let's think about who your customer is. For each profile, what is their order behaviour? Can we cluster products together in the warehouse layout to optimize order management for each profile?’"
Our team determined that products that the brewery frequently shipped to a large grocery store buyer could all be placed in one aisle for faster picking and packing.
“The result, when we ran our pick-bot analysis was a 20% efficiency gain by clustering together products that are frequently ordered together,” Kaitlin says.
Maintaining the Solution
Depending on our analysis, there are several possible outcomes. The data might show that it's time to grow to a larger location, or that an entirely new site is needed. Or, it might demonstrate that more efficient processes can fully or partially mitigate the need for more space. We might also help develop custom solutions, such as off-site storage, trailer storage, or other temporary solutions.
Our team is dedicated to solving warehouse layout problems before introducing or suggesting a technical solution. In other words, we offer recommendations for digital solutions to specific problems, rather than a one-size-fits-all recommendation.
Our recommendations might include:
- implementing an inventory management system
- using motion-mining technology to validate areas for improvement
- implementing a new slotting strategy
- making changes to warehouse layouts
Client Success Story
One of our clients, Inspired Go, explained their experience in this video. Tianna, Director of Operations and Expansion, noted, "Routeique™ and MotionMiners were able to come into our warehouse and put our staff through a little bit of training on what MotionMiners technology really does for our warehouse pick and pack line and provides them with some wearable technology." She adds that this solution "allows us to not only get a bunch of analytics but does it in a way that doesn't really affect the way we go forward with day-to-day procedures."
Their team notes that the efficiencies brought by Routeique have helped them make progress toward their growth and expansion objectives.
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