A-Frame Replenishment Lights Improve Efficiency MYTH (FALSE)

A-Frame-Replenishment LightsDo A-Frame replenishment lights improve efficiency?  FALSE.  This is a myth. A-Frame replenishment lights are located on each frame. They were designed to make sure A-Frame operators were aware of the need to replenish channels that were running low. This concept was developed approximately 25 years ago with the creation of the A-Frame system. At the time, the industry believed this was a good thing.

As years passed, what we realized is that operators would stand around or even leave their stations and wait for the lights. The operators were never replenishing before a light indicated to do so. Even though their line of site down the channels told them which SKUs were running low. This created a problem. Often a group of channels (each containing a different SKU) needed to be replenished at the exact same time.

So, a light goes on and the operators start franticly replenishing as many of these channels as possible. This often leads to numerous human errors and channels going dry. The subsequent orders needing the missing items require human attention (pick-to-belt) or to be re-circulated (pick-to-tote) to complete the order.

A more efficient use of A-Frame replenishment labor would be to have designated frames assigned to specific operators. The A-Frame provides a clear line of site for each channel’s inventory level. The operators simply look at the inventory in the channels and “top off” at a steady pace. By constantly topping off each channel, the operators are fully engaged (not walking away or day dreaming). Their work pace is steady, not panicking. This helps assure accuracy and consistency.

Of course, people will say, “why don’t you have the replenishers top off using line of site and the lights for “’’emergencies’.” We thought this would also be a good compromise, but our customers have found that when the lights are there, human nature is to rely on them… then panic. SI Systems has been asked to uninstall the lights on existing systems and to remove them, and the panic, from new A-Frame projects.

Because A-Frames eliminate all picking labor, the labor requirement for replenishment is often well under 25%. This 75% plus labor savings not only translates into a fast return on investment (ROI) but also assures your replenishing staff a clear focus on their job.

Want to see if your facility can benefit from an A-Frame system? Call or email for a free data and ROI analysis. Feel free to download our White Paper or Literature.

About SI Systems A-Frame systems. SI Systems has the largest breadth of A-Frame models in the industry to meet customer’s exact application requirements. Models include: Pick-to-Tote, Pick-to-Shipper, Pick-to-Belt, Dual Tiered, Document Dispensing and Portable A-Frame Systems (patented). Likewise, SI Systems A-Frames are data driven and Return on Investment (ROI) “business solutions” to your organizations business requirements.

 

A-Frame-Replenishment Lights
Ed Romaine
Ed Romaine
Romaine has spent over 30 years involved with organizations looking to optimize their distribution, manufacturing, and warehousing operations. Focusing on customer’s processes, systems and business model, Romaine has helped dozens of organizations improve profitability by reducing labor, floor space, errors and inventory while improving accuracy, inventory turns and cut-off times.Within the industry trade association, MHI, Romaine has taken numerous leadership positions over his 18 year membership including: Chairman of the Automated Storage & Retrieval (AS/RS) Group, Chairman of the Order Fulfillment Council of America, Chairman of the Warehouse Execution Systems Group and was one of the originators of the Carousel and VLM Product Section Group.Romaine is a frequent editorial and information contributor to hundreds of publications, blogs and online publications and has been a speaker at dozens of Supply Chain, Logistics, Lean and Facility organizations and functions.

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