Why beverage picking productivity should not be the primary focus
by John Fleckenstein – Learn more about our contributors here
Typically, when discussing improving warehousing operations in the beverage industry, we tend to focus on pick productivity. In fact, for many distributors, it may be the only measure around which a layout redesign is based. To achieve smarter operations, we need to examine all of the fundamental processes, and designing a beverage warehouse in conjunction with a lean manager can help accomplish this.
As in other industries, the beverage warehouse can be broken down into four major processes: receiving, putaway, picking and loading. Additional processes may be performed in between these, but these four are the core of the operation, and in the beverage business, there is little action beyond them. Each of these processes should be measured for effectiveness via the standard operational measurements.
Additionally, effective operational management requires attention to four major metrics: safety, delivery, quality, and productivity. These are listed in order of priority. Every decision made in regards to design, redesign, daily operation and continuous improvement must ensure harmony and balance in these measurements, and the impact to each of them must be considered when choosing operational technology. A technology solution that focuses singularly on picking could skew the balance.
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