What Is Slotting? Definition, Best Practices & Benefits
Have you ever wondered, “what is slotting?” It’s the process of organizing your warehouse to maximize storage space!
Think about how many times you fumble through your cupboard trying to find the right spice. You know it’s in there because you used it last week but you still can’t seem to find it. So you throw all of the spices down on the counter and continue to search, finding the right spice at the back.
Now, think about how much easier it would be to find the right spice if your cupboard or rack was organized. You would know exactly where each one was. And even if you do forget, they’re all organized so you can then find it quicker.
The same concept can get used for inventory and warehouse management. And that’s where slotting comes in. You want to have the inventory in your warehouse as organized as possible for maximum efficiency and less travel time.
Inventory will get put in the right places and pickers can put orders together without any wasted time searching for the right item. And, not only does slotting increase efficiency in the warehouse, but it also allows you to maximize the space you have.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Does Slotting Mean?
It’s basically the process of organizing your warehouse to try and make the most out of the space that you have. And by maximizing space the order picking process becomes more efficient. It depends on your business, but slotting can be organized by product type or SKU numbers.
Slotting helps with managing inventory and reducing the cost of running your warehouse. Getting your warehouse in tip-top shape might come across as extremely time-consuming, and it can be. But the benefits of slotting will have an impact on your overall business.
Why You Should Consider Using Slotting
How is your inventory storage? Do you have a lot of fragile items or heavy items? Is your entire warehouse a bit of a jumbled mess? There are some main areas that might contribute to you deciding to use a slotting strategy.
If you are building a new warehouse, slotting can help from the start to reduce operational costs. Or maybe you want to change your warehouse organization to end the possibility of potential product damage. Your warehouse could also require turnover if your product changes with the seasons.
Slotting will help with order picking efficiency with fewer errors and create more inventory capacity if you need it. And, by optimizing the space you have, overall costs will go down.
Benefits of Using Slotting In Your Warehouse
Do you know where every product SKU is in your warehouse? If you do, are they in the best place? Slotting helps to keep everything organized and in the optimal location for increased efficiency.
Instead of having a bunch of inventory on-hand and letting it pile up until it’s sold, you can anticipate and streamline warehouse workflow. It will save you a ton of time and effort that can be spent on other areas of your business. In a simple sense, slotting promotes efficiency.
Another major benefit to using slotting in your warehouse is an increase in overall productivity. The slotting process intentionally puts SKUs in an optimal area. This reduces the need for unnecessary guessing of where a product is and establishes the quickest route to get it done.
And when productivity and efficiency increase, overall costs go down. Instead of hiring more staff or increasing capacity, you can maximize the storage space you already have. All while using the resources you already use.
How to Get Started Using Slotting
It again depends on your type of business, but implementing a slotting strategy for your warehouse requires data. You need to know everything about the products you have in your inventory.
Some key data that will help get you started:
- The overall dimensions, composition and specifications of your SKUs
- Your reorder frequency and overall quantities, as well as normal inventory levels
- Sales forecast data and history of order picking
- Any SKUs that are often purchased together
Now, compiling the above data would require you to have been in operation already. But even if you’re opening a new warehouse or just launching your business, you can still forecast and gather data that will help.
You can also look into other factors that could contribute to warehouse efficiency. The overall square footage, fixtures that could get in the way and the height of the ceilings should all get taken into account. And depending on how and where you ship your SKUs, adding different shipping costs to the data will contribute to how you slot everything.
A lot of companies are using slotting methods to increase efficiency and reduce the chances for products to become damaged. One of the biggest overall benefits of slotting is that it won’t cost you a lot other than time and effort. And the entire strategy can adapt to the unique needs your business has.
Slotting is an excellent opportunity for you to improve the overall operations of your warehouse. You can streamline workflow, increase productivity and maximize storage space. Take a look at your current warehouse layout and see if slotting can help improve overall efficiency.
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