With the following ten-point list makes you can easily to check whether it is time to realign your intralogistics strategy. The more criteria apply to your own storage structure and processes, the more it would make sense to switch to an automated storage and retrieval system.
1. Goods are constantly added to and retrieved from inventory
The larger the percentage of stored items that are frequently retrieved (fast movers), the longer the waiting time until the goods from the static shelf storage system can be provided.
2. Long travel distances in a large warehouse
Employees in a conventional warehouse often travel many kilometers to get to the items to be picked and arrive at the central order picking station – travel distances that require a great deal of energy and take up to two-thirds of people’s working hours.
3. Long search times
Once the picker has reached the shelf with the requested item, more time is spent looking for the proper compartment or bin. Additional time is spent on checking and retrieving the item or items—a process that may take several minutes.
4. Less picking precision
From getting to the correct compartment and checking the products against the picking list, to checking the item to be picked, all the way to manually confirming the pick on the picking list: the entire retrieval process throughout the shelf storage systems contains numerous opportunities for the staff member to make picking mistakes.
5. Poor throughput rate
When manually retrieving inventory from a shelf storage system, the picker often takes out only a single item per tour, which translates into extended travel routes and time wasted. As a result, employees sometimes can process no more than 50 items per hour.
6. Damaged items
Whether they are stored on boards or in special compartments – goods that are kept on shelves are apt to attract soil and dust. Moreover, often damage occurs due to improper storage or retrieval. All of this reduces the value and lifetime of the stored products. Sometimes they even become unsuitable for selling or subsequent processing.
7. Disappearing items
Items frequently get lost in large, open shelf storage systems – on account of mistakes made when they were put in storage. Given the vast floor space, finding lost goods is a major challenge for intralogisticians.
8. Damage due to theft
In open shelf storage systems, goods are insufficiently protected against theft. This increases the probability of items disappearing illegally.
9. Waste of storage space
Conventional shelf storage systems require not only a great deal of floor space, they also waste valuable storage room, for example between the top shelf and the ceiling.
10. No ergonomics at the workplace
Pickers who work in high-bay warehouses constantly have to bend down or stretch to retrieve goods that can be quite heavy. This is highly stressful on the arms, and legs and feet ultimately also suffer from the long travel distances. Eventually this becomes a great strain on the entire human muscular system. The consequences of excessive stress are degenerative symptoms or even injuries, which is reflected in a higher sickness absence rate of the staff.
These negative impacts on productivity can be avoided by using dynamic storage equipment. It does not matter whether you employ a vertical storage lift, a horizontal carousel storage system, or a vertical buffer module. Thanks to its room-saving design, its high-density storage capacity, and its modern software control, any one of the automated systems by Kardex Remstar contributes to saving money, space, and time.
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