Order fulfillment with inventory carousels

Safco Dental Supplies is adding another inventory carousel to their distribution center.

Safco provides dental supplies to dental practices.  They sell everything a dentist uses in daily practice.  From aprons and bibs to Zandlynx, they stock it all!  And the most active items are stocked and picked from flow racks and automated carousels.

Every 15 minutes new orders are grouped and sent to a carousel server.  Pickers take products from bins that have moved into pick position and display a pick quantity.  Picked products are put into pick bins by pick quantity.   Conveyors move pick bins from carousels to the floor for bulk item picking.  Finally, pick bins go to checkers for verification and packing.

 

Suggested purchase orders – replenishment

For items that should always be in stock, Directions automates replenishment purchasing.

Starting from a list of vendor items, suggested purchase orders use your custom formulas at the vendor or item level to calculate suggested orders.  The example formulas below use sales history, vendor lead times, quantity on hand and backordered, and vendor minimums.

Suggested purchase orders

Suggested purchase orders

 

Inventory replenishment

Inventory replenishment

Operations dashboard

The Directions operations dashboards show an overview of daily operations in real time.

  • Orders by channel
  • Orders by call center associate
  • Orders printed, picked, packed, and shipped
  • Sales by category
  • eBay item status

Each of these dashboard metrics has underlying detail to quickly identify an operations issue.  For example, if orders are backing up at the packing area, you can view each packers’ productivity .  If sales in a promotional category are taking off, you can contact the vendor or issue work orders.

Orders by channel and user

Orders by channel and user

Orders by channel and user

 

Orders printed, picked, packed, and shipped

 

Orders printed, picked, packed, and shipped

Orders printed, picked, packed, and shipped

 

 

 

Sales by category

Sales by category

Sales by category

How to speed up your pick and pack warehouse operations

Warehouse management starts with good performance based warehouse layout.  We need to know fast moving items and slow moving items.  Then we need to allocate space and place items correctly.  This is not a one time reorganization – this is an ongoing management project.

This is a example warehouse layout.

And this is an analysis of inventory movement.  Note the “60 day picks” column.  This is the number of times a picker went to that location in the last 60 calendar days.  Our goal is to have those items in close, evenly distributed, locations.  In the above warehouse they should be evenly distributed over the orange sections.