Your want to efficiently use your available warehouse floor space, increase throughput rates, and decrease labor costs. You are also responsible for accommodating increased sales volumes and additional SKUs, all while you continue to give your customers what they need as quickly, efficiently, and accurately as possible. That is a lot to manage, but your distribution center can accomplish all of this by installing a well-designed pick module system. Effective pick modules require examining SKU data, evaluating the characteristics of the building, pinpointing the appropriate picking procedures and technologies, and obeying the building codes. Future growth must also be taken into consideration.
Before you figure all of that out, you’re probably wondering what a pick module is. A pick module is composed of pallet flow, pallet racks, shelving, and carton flow rack. All of these components are used to store inventory for order fulfillment and picking. The racks can be single or multi-level. The number of SKUs and storage locations that are stored inside pick modules can greatly vary from hundreds or even thousands. Large distribution centers commonly have a couple of multi-level pick modules that have levels that can handle certain product types. Pick modules are extremely versatile and combine a variety of storage solutions into multi-level platforms. This efficiently moves products through your distribution facility. Some warehouse distribution centers are comprised of nothing but pick modules.
High-density Pick Module Systems
High-density pick module systems are typically multi-level and include a mishmash of work platforms and mezzanines with conveyors along with carousels, static racks, pallet flow racks, carton flow racks, and equipment that can deliver loads to pickers on every level.
These systems can quickly perform picking procedures using less space than floor-level storage, resulting in lower costs for open-carton or full-case picking functions and broken pallets. Walk times for pickers who spend extra time picking orders and less time searching for SKUs will be reduced. The orders will then be conveyed to shipping and packing areas, which will increase accuracy and reduce the amount of time that’s spent picking. Voice-directed or pick-to-light picking can be integrated into your system to deliver quicker, more accurate order fulfillment.
Enhance Your Business Using Pick Modules
Inventory rotation can be enforced through a first-in, first-out picking procedure. Inventory on the load side can be replenished so that pickers will receive your products in the order you want them picked.
Over 35% of your pallet picking space in a normal 6-deep application can be saved. This is quite a bit of space. If the items are picked from totes or cartons, space savings can be even better than shelving. You won’t have to move to a bigger facility or undergo a wholesale redesign, as pick modules offer you extra floor space that can be used for other purposes. If you can use most of your vertical cube, you’ll always have lots of additional space.
Labor expenses can be reduced. Walk time that’s deemed to be nonproductive can be entirely eliminated when picking and storage operations are combined because order pickers can finally do the job they are supposed to do, which is picking for a longer period of time each day. Pickers will be able to reduce how much time is being spent walking and searching for items. This is a win-win for you and your employees.
Inventory can easily be replenished. As picking operations will no longer be concentrated, your pallet or carton inventory can be focused into the system.
Storage Applications for Multi-Level Pick Modules
- Increased throughput in warehouse operations
- Multiple SKU’s can be densely stored
- FIFO inventory (first in, first out) on a rotating basis
Pick modules are a wise choice for high throughput, high-volume distribution operations. Simple picking operations greatly benefit from the effectiveness and versatility of smaller-scale pick modules.
Imagine what your facility would be like if you could consolidate picking areas into less or even half the amount of space. Warehouse Management Systems automation can give you as little or as much help as you need. Stein Service & Supply can design an efficient one-level or high throughput, multi-level pick module system for your business.
For more information about pick modules, contact us today.