Features and innovations

Warehouse Performance: breaking new ground in the warehouse with optimised stock reservation! (Part 2/4)

Do you still remember? In our last article "Warehouse Performance: Discover and use hidden potential in the warehouse through the consistent use of data! (Part 1/4)" we gave you a first overview of the possibilities to increase your "Warehouse Performance". This time we would like to introduce you to the first phase of optimising your warehouse performance, namely optimising stock reservation:

Whether and to what extent optimising stock reservation makes sense at all depends primarily on the storage strategy currently in use. As a rule, optimisation potential only arises if the stored items are located in several places in the warehouse - which sometimes also means different aisles. Because these many reservation possibilities of individual order items are one of the crucial points for too long picking paths and times of the employees in the warehouse. Thus, the goal of optimising stock reservation is to form strategically sensible combinations from the various available options in order to keep the walking distances as short as possible in relation to an order.

With regard to the use of a storage strategy in which the stock of an item is stored at only one location, there is initially no alternative for optimised stock reservation. However, this does not mean that optimisation measures cannot also be implemented in this case, for example through intelligent stock transfer processes in the course of the "warehouse healing" strategy, which we will discuss in more detail in another article.

Fig. 1: Original state - stock reservation

But let us briefly illustrate the optimisation of stock reservation at this point with a concrete example from practice: The different coloured elements refer to the individual storage locations where the goods to be picked are located.

Even at first glance, one thing is obvious: the reserved items are stored in different aisles, the storage locations are apparently "far" apart, so that the walking distances for the employees in the course of the picking round trip take up a lot of time. With the aforementioned prerequisite that the articles are found in several places in the warehouse, this process can be solved in a much smarter way.

What does the whole thing look like in practice? An optimisation of stock reservation is first of all based on the typology and layout of the picking areas in the warehouse. On this basis, the individual checking sequences are also to be configured to the requirements and circumstances area by area. The overriding goal of stock reservation within an order is to achieve a minimisation of distances in relation to the stocks to be reserved. In short: in the course of stock reservation, it is checked at which point in the warehouse the individual items can be reserved as close to each other as possible in order to achieve the most "dense" picking of the order. As a result of stock reservation, the stock initially remains physically in the warehouse, but is no longer freely available.

Fig. 2. application of the optimised stock reservation strategy

Can you see the difference in figure 2? Exactly: in relation to an order, all articles have now been reserved in only one aisle, so that the picking paths and times in a round trip
remain as short as possible for the employees. This not only ensures increased efficiency when picking orders, but is also a first step towards optimising the intralogistical processes in the warehouse as a whole.

As an expert on the subject, you will now interject: But what about the other relevant reservation parameters such as FIFO, batch numbers, remaining lead times? You are of course right that these must still be adhered to within the picking path reduction, or at least within a certain framework.

Would you like to learn more about the individual phases for optimizing your performance in the warehouse? Then also read "Warehouse Performance: from optimized inventory reservation to intelligent batch planning for efficient warehouse logistics! (Part 3/4)"

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