What is Slotting and why is it an important productivity tool?
Slotting is the shorthand term for the process of allocating product, (SKU’s), to locations in the warehouse according to business rules and product characteristics. It is normally restricted to the pick face or on-line locations only, however it can impose some general rules for stock location in the bulk areas in order to increase replenishment efficiency.
High level Slotting is a minimum requirement for the implementation of a new facility. Detailed Slotting is relatively rare in either new or existing operations. In the infrequent times that Slotting is mentioned in trade articles claims of significant productivity gains are made. (See “Modern Materials Handling January 16 2006”).
Q: Why should you be considering slotting in your business?
- You are rearranging your current warehouse layout
- You are building a new facility
- You are attempting to reduce your warehouse operational costs
- You operate in a seasonal industry which drives different product demand cycles during the year
- You want to decrease the movement of warehouse staff around the warehouse
- You want to reduce product damage within the warehouse
Business returns on regular detailed slotting programs can include:
- Improved order picking efficiency
- Reduced product damage
- Increased replenishment and put-away efficiency
- Auditing the design of the pick face
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