Why random stocking makes your warehouse more efficient
Contrary to its name, random stocking is not aimless. It actually allows you to use your warehouse more efficiently!
Let’s look at a typical warehouse with thousands of parts from various producers. Unsurprisingly, this warehouse is organized by part numbers: For example, all parts starting with a 2 can be found in the same area, followed by all parts starting with a 3. In many warehouses, parts are additionally stored by producer.
Efficient? Not necessarily!
PROBLEMS COME IN THREES
There are three problems with this popular form of storage:
- The storage area is not used efficiently. Shelves often contain dead space – for example when a part is too big for its allotted space and needs to be put on the next shelf.
- And what happens when you run out of space for parts with a certain number? You have to rearrange all the following parts to create room for more. Or you have to store them in another part of your warehouse – which defies the whole warehouse system.
- Organizing the warehouse along part numbers can also lead to more miles for your employees because parts that are often used together are not necessarily stored next to each other.
THE SOLUTION: RANDOM STOCKING
You probably guessed it: random stocking solves all these problems!
A fundamental condition is an ERP system that supports it. Using this system, you can organize your warehouse more efficiently: The storage location is not determined by part numbers but the turnover rate and the shortest walking distance while picking.
Let’s look at an example: If you are selling vacuum cleaners, the system will make sure that the matching bags are stored close by – because there is a high probability that they are ordered and shipped together!
Not only your ERP system but a mobile solution like autoscan is a tremendous help when it comes to random stocking. It helps your employees find and ship parts quickly as well as store them in the right location (an especially great aid for new employees!).
THE CHANGE IS WORTH IT!
Clearly, switching to a new form of stocking is a big project that requires a lot of adjustment. But it is also clear that it has a lot of advantages – the bigger the warehouse and the quicker parts have to be stored, picked and sent, the more you get out of random stocking.