The idea that one level is better than another to pick from can be enhanced by applying golden zone rules to the items and slots at the same time (in a multi-level pick environment). Golden zone rules typically have the fastest of the fast items slotted at a height between the shoulders and the waist. The challenge in the described environment is determining the trade-off between ‘bend and reach’ ergonomics and productivity versus the opportunity to reduce horizontal travel down an aisle. The clever solution involves something called a ‘productivity wedge’, which is pictured in Figure 4.
The advantage of this hybrid approach is that the fastest movers (and larger items) would need fewer facings and/or stackings to maintain the targeted days in the pick slot; hence, the pick path has an opportunity to be shortened.
It makes great sense to focus on the fastest moving items in the pick line when maintaining a slotting layout. This article considers the potential for increasing selector productivity by also evaluating the slower moving items in the pick line. Fixing slower moving items not only frees up valuable space for faster moving items but can also increase the odds that portions of the pick path will not need to be travelled at all.
Dan Basmajian is President of Optricity, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. For more information, visit www.optricity.com.