Why random stocking makes your warehouse more efficient

Random stocking is anything but unsystematic! Say goodbye to long walking distances within the warehouse and unused gaps on the shelves!

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Let’s first have a look at a traditional warehouse to better grasp what random stocking entails and why it solves many issues.

The traditional warehouse

Take for instance a warehouse with thousands of parts from different manufacturers:

Unsurprisingly, this warehouse is organized by part numbers.

For example, all items starting with the number 2 are stored together, while parts starting with the number 3 are right next to them, and so on.

Another common organization method is sorting by manufacturer name.

Logical? Yes.

Efficient? Not necessarily!

Problems with traditional stocking

This popular form of storage leads to three key issues:

  1. The storage area is not used efficiently. Shelves often contain dead space, e.g. when a part is too big for its allotted space and needs to be put on the next shelf.
  2. And what happens when you run out of space for parts with a certain number? You have to rearrange ALL of the following parts to create room for more. Or you have to store them in another part of your warehouse, disrupting your precious order.
  3. Organizing the warehouse by 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!

Unlike traditional stocking, the part number or manufacturer doesn’t dictate the organization. Random stocking focuses on optimizing routes and maximizing efficiency.

Let’s look at an example: If you sell vacuum cleaners, you probably also offer vacuum bags. In a traditional warehouse, the staff might have longer paths to fetch the bags, which are often ordered alongside the vacuums.

With random stocking, the system ensures that the matching bags are stored close to the vacuum cleaners.

And if the inventory changes, it’s not a problem. A flexible warehouse adapts and evolves!

Prerequisites for random stocking

A fundamental condition is an ERP system that supports random stocking. 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.

From our experience, training staff is also crucial. They need to understand the random stocking system and know how to employ the technology effectively.

Speaking of technology: In addition to the ERP system, a mobile solution like autoscan is immensely beneficial for this kind of stocking. It quickly directs your staff to the required parts!

It also ensures prompt dispatching and storage at the right spots (especially helpful for newcomers!).

The switch is worth it!

Obviously, transitioning to a new stocking method is a significant endeavor requiring adjustments.

However, it’s equally obvious that it offers numerous benefits. The larger the warehouse and the faster you need to stock, unstock, and ship items, the more you’ll benefit from a flexible warehouse!

“I was a bit skeptical at first, especially since while implementing autoscan we also switched to random stocking. I thought it would be more dramatic. Instead, everything went smoothly!”

Michael Hickelsberger, CEO, car dealership BMW Göndle in an interview

More details about our scanner software

autoscan is the mobile workplace for your warehouse. Just scan a barcode or QR code and enjoy your work!

autoscan uses an Android app for modern handheld scanners. It automates a variety of processes along the entire process chain in your warehouse ― from incoming goods to picking, inventory count and much more!

Plus: autoscan seamlessly integrates into your ERP system, dealer management system (DMS) or warehouse management (WHM) system.

If you would like to learn more, simply contact us! You can reach us via email at hello@autoscan.app. Or simply book an appointment online!