Achieving warehouse productivity goals such as reducing picking times and increasing throughput rates can be challenging. Chris Castaldi, director of business development at Carlstadt, N.J.-based materials handling systems integrator W&H Systems, offers these tips for improving warehouse productivity.
- Use automated picking operations. Pick-to-voice or pick-to-light systems speed picking and reduce errors by quickly providing pickers information on item location and quantity. These systems eliminate the need to search for the item number and quantity on a piece of paper.
- Try goods-to-person technology. These solutions bring the items to be picked to the workers’ station so they don’t have to travel all over the warehouse pulling items to fulfill orders.
- Implement a Warehouse Control System (WCS). Use these tools to handle processes that can slow the performance of your warehouse management system. A WCS can control conveyors and sortation systems; optimize picking and packing waves; send pick information to voice-directed picking systems; and direct packing operations.
- Consider tilt-tray sorters. These trays gently deliver items close to packing boxes, eliminating the need for workers to move full cases to each location.
- Rely on radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID increases operational accuracy and efficiency by providing greater visibility into critical process points, allowing real-time inventory management and coordination within the supply chain.
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