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Optimizing Product Slotting
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The picking process is the most time consuming element in day-to-day warehouse operation. To fulfill shipment orders, pickers are given the task of traversing the warehouse floor to gather purchased items off the racks into a pick cart based on a pick list. Once all the items on the pick list have been picked, the picker then returns the filled pick cart to the packing station and offload them to the packers. This pick step is repeated many times a day and likely 7 days a week for many warehouses. It is a major bottleneck especially during the peak shopping season.

Many factors can affect the picking process such as the warehouse layout and how the items are assigned to storage racks. In this article, we cover the latter which we call product slotting. Product slotting is often performed regulary such as every month or every quarter. The idea is to swap items around or place new items in racks in a way that improves pick time. The general rule of thumb is to place the most frequently bought items closer to the packing station so the picker can get to them quicker. In practice, you also have other constraints to consider such as capacity and size of the shelves, seasonality of the item, items which are frequently bought together, etc. There is always a certain amount of guesswork required in product slotting. You don't really know how effective the slotting is until you try it out. However, that can be time consuming especially when it is performed regularly.

At SolvingMaze, we help you eliminate the guesswork from warehouse slotting optimization through our layout simulation software. Simply draw your warehouse layout in Excel and upload to our online software along with historical shipment orders containing line item quantity and stock location. The software simulates the picking process to help you identify optimal slotting strategy. With our software, you can make intelligent decision quickly on how to optimize your product slotting so it streamlines the picking process and speed up order fulfillment.

 
Keywords
    order fulfillment
    product slotting
    simulation
    warehouse layout

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