May 07, 2020

Warehouse system processes

Basic warehouse processes are the following: receiving, put-away, internal replenishment, order picking, accumulating and sorting, packing, cross docking, dispatch and shipping. Receipt and storage are considered inbound processes, while others are considered outbound processes. Previously noted is shown in Figure 1. Beside these processes, there also are value-added services which aren't obligatory but depend upon the warehouse type and various provided services [2]. In various warehouses, goods which usually enter as units of a bigger scale, undergo reorganization submitted to repackaging that results with units of a smaller scale. At the observed warehouse typical example are large packages of milk which arrive in a warehouse as pallet quantities. Afterwards, they are broken down into smaller quantities throughout order picking, packing and finally distribution. In this kind of warehouses, operations which are done daily are tied with human performance and greatly depend on it. The smaller the handling unit, the greater the handling charge . Smaller units require more labour and mucmore processing to be delivered. Precisely, pallet manipulation at a warehouse directly influences the time used for picking. This results with accurately collected units which are then forwarded to the next process

Figure 1 – Typical warehouse processes

First in line of warehouse processes is receiving of products . This process does not take as much time as picking, which is shown onwards, but it is as relevant as any. The process of receiving can begin with the notice of the goods arrival. This permits the warehouse to prepare, to schedule inbound operations so there are no uncoordinated events. With arrival, unloading begins after which units are put away with accurate documenting before. If there is necessity for labelling, this process occurs before goods are put away. In every warehouse an area must be preordained for these actions. If there is no such place, but it is known that some of the arriving products must be labelled, a temporary place must be determined.
Products typically arrive in a warehouse in larger units, as it has been mentioned before, on pallets. If
pallets are not arranged homogeneously they have to be broken down into separate cartons. It is necessary for receiving that the method of delivery is compatible with the unloading equipment in the receiving warehouse. Otherwise, the need for additional equipment arises . Altogether, the process of receiving accounts for only 10% of the operating costs in a typical warehouse, but it is supposed to be reduced by the use of Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)


Every Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) during a warehouse has its own location, determined beforehand , whether the positioning is predefined or random. Precisely, there are several storage policies. A predefined storage policy prescribes a specific location for SKU to be stored, but random policy leaves the choice to the operator. Both of these storage policies can be used in some warehouses. Furthermore, a class-based storage system allocates zones to specific product which is based upon products turnover rate as ABC zoning.

Another storage policy includes correlated storage of family groups, that is, storing products at nearby positions if they are often required simultaneously. This step within the process is of huge importance. It can reduce time defined for picking and in the end decrease total duration of outbound processes. For putaway the inventory management needs to be correct and up to date. It must be known at all times what storage locations are available, how much weight they can bear, etc. In this case, the secondary inventory management must be managed, not of products, but of locations so as to understand everything mentioned. After the product is placed on its location, the storage location should also be scanned to record where the unit has been placed. This kind of information will be of use when it is needed to pick orders . There are several options for inbound SKU. First is inbound into high-density storage like drive-in racking, next is inbound into standard wide aisle reserve slots
such as upper levels. The last is inbound into pick slots which are ground-level wide aisle racking. The latter is represented in a small amount of products with no current stock . Put-away process may require a large amount of work because SKUs must be moved over significant distances to their storage position. Put-away accounts for approximately 15% of warehouse operating costs

Order picking 


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