A thorough analysis of your inventory and order processing often provides tremendous value for an operation. By understanding a SKU’s physical characteristics, velocity and order tendencies the ability to increase throughput levels and eliminate wasted labor, travel time, cubic floor space and errors are usually abundant. The elements of what makes a slotting report valuable and how to implement your slotting program correctly is what creates success.
There are three common ways to implement a slotting program in an organization. Which is the best way? Each option has pros and cons. Your organization’s time frame, depth of resources and budget will often be your best guide.
A organization's slotting program implementation options are:
- Buying slotting software and hire or train employees:
- When starting from scratch, this option has the longest learning curve. Its success is also reliant on the specific employee(s) you train, develop and retain.
- Utilize slotting modules in your WMS:
- This option varies greatly based on your WMS provider, but (using generalities) most slotting modules available in WMS packages provide superficial data and results. Review the details of the “good slotting reports” listed below and compare what is offered and you will understand the differences. Likewise, this option’s success is contingent on the same employee training, development and retention issues as buying slotting software.
- Use a third party resource:
- This option often provides the fastest solution and most consistent medium and long term results. Costs are often dependent on the level of slotting analysis needed, frequency and available data available. A no obligation proposal is always provided.
- Slotting services can be customized to your needs:
- A one-time slotting analysis
- A monthly, quarterly or annual timed slotting analysis
- On location coaching
- Actual implementation during off shifts
- Other customized options available
What will a good slotting report provide for handling your fast movers?
- Identify where in your warehouse each SKU should be located utilizing a number of key criteria such as: best material handling equipment, floor location and ergonomics. This translates to less walking, reaching, stretching and bending activities and improved throughput.
- You should insist on a prioritized slotting report with each SKU movement generating a cost savings. Since SKU movement comes at a cost (labor), knowing which activities will generate exactly how much in labor savings (measured in dollars) makes resource planning much easier and justifiable.
- Do you have a group of SKUs that would perform better in a different material handling technology than what you currently have? A good slotting and material handling equipment configuration report can provide these answers.
- Optimize cube from receiving through shipping and into the truck.
- Will pre-packaging (or kitting) provide huge benefits. An example of this, is an operation that routinely packaged SKUs in 50 quantities. A slotting analysis showed that by introducing five and 25 quantity packages for only 5% of their total SKUs would reduce their daily picking labor by over 25%. A huge savings.