Monday, 1 September 2014

Flow-Rite Inc. Offers Tips on Improving Warehouse Order Picking

Located in Southern Ontario, Flow-Rite Inc., is one of North America’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of industrial storage systems, warehouse racking, new and used shelving systems and equipment. With more than thirty-five years of experience designing cost effective picking systems, Mike Leyland, President of Flow-Rite Inc., knows how order picking productivity can affect a company’s profits and admits that outfitting a warehouse operation for success may take some work but firmly believes that it is well worth doing. In order to step up efficiency and reduce operating costs, he advises businesses of the best ways to improve throughput, increase pick rates, pick accuracy, and space utilization throughout their facility for improved order picking productivity.

"It’s all about cost reduction," says Mike Leyland, "Reducing operating costs can be done in a number of ways. Reducing the distance traveled between picks, reducing the bending and reaching required by the pick." 

Other factors that should be considered when choosing the right material handling solution include:
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Additional system-related components 
  • Ease of assembly and installation 
  • Reliability and durability 
  • Training requirements 
  • Daily operating cost of the material handling system
 "It is also important to ensure that the warehouse design will pass both a payback period analysis and a return on investment analysis. To obtain the most effective solution for an operation, choose a system that provides the shortest payback period possible; although payback periods will vary based on size and scope of the project. A return on investment analysis (ROI) will determine the benefits provided over the entire lifetime of the purchase. This can be determined by dividing the net benefits of the purchase by the total cost of the operation," explains Leyland. 

Suggested ways to improve warehouse order picking:
  1. Carton Flow Racks: These reduce the working distances needed to pick an order by as much as 40%. Pick faces are increased in a smaller foot print.
  2. Carousels: Best suited for small piece picking as replenishment is a major issue. The parts are brought to the picker.
  3. Pick to Light and/ or headsets: Improves order accuracy dramatically. 
  4. Order pick towers: These reduce the pick space ad face. Generally use belt to belt take away conveyors.
  5. Kiva: This system was recently purchased by Amazon. It brings the entire shelf unit to the picker via guided robots.
About Flow-Rite Inc.: 
Since 1986, Flow-Rite Inc. has served North American businesses, designing, supplying and installing high density and highly productive warehouses. They supply new and used Redirack, industrial racking and shelving systems. Located in Southern Ontario, Flow-Rite specializes in high density storage systems, new and used pallet racks, shelving, mezzanines and forklift trucks. A one stop shop for all your industrial storage and warehouse needs, Flow-Rite designs installs, repairs, replaces, relocates and dismantles all types of warehouse storage equipment and racking. They offer consulting services using AutoCAD drawings, and prepare rack safety inspections and safety reports. 

Contact Information: 
Mike Leyland 
Flow-Rite Inc. 
2002 Cavendish Drive 
Burlington, Ontario
L7P 1Y7

Phone: (905) 616-1970 

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