Sequencing activities in a warehouse based on when it is going out the door makes a lot of sense…in theory. In practice, ship times are often clustered around the beginning and end of day shift, meaning that it is necessary to pick hours ahead of scheduled-ship time. JIT inventory practices create inventory availability miss matches so workers go into the racks to pick orders for which, all the inventory is not yet present. Later, closer to ship time, they go back to get missing product. Effort duplication = stupid.
There are lots of common practices that are great in theory but stupid in practice:
- Staging full pallets for truckload shipments rather than putting them straight on the truck (33% more labor)
- Using high-reach trucks and relaying product that could have been grabbed by a standard forklift
- Not replenishing locations before a pick wave
- Implementing voice without understanding how to stack the product on a pallet
- Scheduling unloading of inbounds based on dwell time rather than need
The list could go on…but the point here is it is possible to be smart. We are looking for a company that wants to practice "smart warehouse planning". Are you that company?