It is not so easy to manage warehouse operations. It includes efficient utilization of man-power, equipment & space and at the same time reduce the inventory carrying cost – all of which helps to run a profitable business in today’s competitive business environment. It looks simple in theory. But in reality, the warehouse operation is vast and requires the right mix of people, procedures, systems, and solutions to run uninterrupted operations. Many companies adopted WMS which helps them to manage their warehouse operations, they control inward, outward movements and storage of materials and then processing the related transactions. (more…)
Let us look at some of the most common terminologies associated with warehouse management, their meaning and usage:
- What is TAT?
TAT or Turn Around Time is an important metric in Supply Chain. All material movement activities (loading, unloading, put-away, picking, dispatch, etc.) can be measured and benchmarked using TAT
- What is “Muda” – Hint: Japanese word?
Muda implies waste. In Toyota Production System (TPS), Muda represents activities that does not add any value to the production process. In the context of Inventory Management, identification and elimination of Muda activities can be help in shortening the TAT and improve productivity
- What is “Kanban” – Hint: Japanese word?
Kanban literally means “token” or a “Signboard”. It is the underpinning concept on which the Toyota Production System operates. While in itself, Kanban is not an inventory optimization strategy, it can help in bringing down the Stores inventory in case the demand for the inventory can be anticipated.
Although our blog had an earlier post on KPIs, this topic is of such depth, that here’s another one with some more thoughts.
KPIs are measurements that can be quantified and agreed to beforehand. KPIs vary across different organizations and industries. They reflect the goals of the organization and are critical to organizational success. Choosing the criteria for defining the KPIs is an important process. Different industries/business models require different measurements. For example, KPIs for a Manufacturing Supply Chain will be different from that of a 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) Supply Chain.
In the last post we saw the various types of picking methodologies available for a warehouse manager to choose from, such as Batch Picking, Zone Picking, Consignment / Order Based Picking and Wave Picking. Amongst these, Wave Picking by itself is a subject area in itself. And hence this post.
What is Wave Picking?
Wave Picking is a scheduled order picking process, executed in short duration, multiple times in a day, in which multiple customer orders having disparate SKU’s are picked up by multiple pickers at the same time. A typical Wave would be scheduled to last, depending on the size of the warehouse and type of SKU, between 30 and 60 min’s.
Order picking is one of the most important processes in warehouse operations. This is because order picking can contribute almost 40 % to 50 % of operation cost incurred by the warehouse in comparison to receiving, storage and shipping processes. Also, order picking has a direct relation to customer satisfaction. The more efficient you’re picking process – the more orders you can process at any given time.
What is Order Picking?
Order picking is the process of retrieving an SKU from a storage location and transporting the SKU to the packing or dispatch area. Orders are picked up, based on manual picking instructions or instructions generated by a WMS.
A WMS can generate the pick list based on different methodologies. These methodologies are chosen based on the size of the warehouse, the number of different types of SKU’s handled by the warehouse and order volumes.