3 storage strategies to improve warehouse efficiency

This is part 1 of 3 in a series on storage strategies that will make your warehouse more efficient. These strategies are all easy on your pocket.

When operating a retail business you need to improve efficiency in any way you can. Your warehouse is no exception and a good storage strategy can go a long way in making your operations efficient.

What is a storage strategy?

It is a specific method for choosing where to store each of your products in the warehouse. With a good strategy, you can reduce the distance your pickers travel for each order. You can save time and your pickers can save their energy.

Consider this…

Travel time between product locations usually accounts for more than 60% of picking time.

Pick Time = Walk Time (60%) + Handling Time (40%)

The 3 common storage strategies are…

* The Product Popularity Strategy
* The Volume Strategy
* The Cube-Per-Order Index Strategy

In this blog, I will explain how you can use the Product Popularity Strategy. Subscribe to our mailing list and we will let you know when we publish the other 2.

What is the Product Popularity Strategy?

With this strategy you will separate your products into 3 categories:

* A Products — Your most popular and fastest moving SKUs
* B Products — Medium pace SKUs
* C Products — Your slowest moving SKUs

Put the fastest moving 60% of SKUs into A, the next 25% into B, and the rest into C.

Once you’ve categorized your products, you can store them based on popularity. For example, you could:

* Store A Products closer to the head and tail of your warehouse
* Store B Products in the middle section
* Store C Products on the upper shelves and mezzanines

Freebie Alert!
In the coming weeks, we will be publishing a tool to help you classify your products. Upload your order history and the tool will classify your SKUs as A, B or C for you. Subscribe to our blog and we will notify you once we release it.

There are 2 layout styles you can choose from with the Product Popularity Strategy.

Depending on the number of SKUs and number of aisles you have, you’ll need to choose the appropriate one.

Layout #1 — “A” Products at Head and Tail

If you have more than 5,000 SKUs or have more than 7 aisles, this layout is for you. Store A Products at the head and tail of each aisle. B Products at the middle of aisles. C Products on the upper shelves or mezzanines.

“A” Products at Head and Tail

Layout #2 — “A” Products at Head, “B” at Middle, “C” at Tail

If you have less than 5,000 SKUs or fewer than 7 aisles, use this layout. Store A Products at the head of aisles. B Products at the middle section. C Products at the tail end of the aisle.

“A” Products at Head, “B” at Middle, “C” at Tail


Leave Empty Space For Future Changes:

Leave some empty space between the A and B sections. When new SKUs are added you can put them there. When existing SKUs change pace you can put them there as well.

Make Picking Lists Efficient

This storage strategy will reduce the distance your pickers need to travel. But it will only work if you sort your picking lists by pick location. Fulfil.IO’s inventory management features can help you to do this.

A good storage strategy can save you time and money.

The Product Popularity Strategy is one of 3 popular options you can choose from. Read our blogs on the Volume Strategy and Cube-Per-Order Index strategy. Subscribe to our mailing list and we will let you know as soon as we publish them.