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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fishbone Aisle designs can decrease picking costs 20 percent

University of Arkansas researchers have identified that laying out a picking warehouse in a fishbone design can reduce costs by over 20%. Historically, warehouses were desined from the perspective of a cost center and were setup to maximize the amount of goods capable of being stored within a space.
With the advent of electonric internet stores and just in time distribution models, designing warehouses for efficient picking can reduce costs of storage and processing together to achieve more efficiency and faster service.

If its Broke Fix it.
Historical setups for warehouses are basically configured with row after row of parallel 2,3, & 4 rack high systems. So what's broken?
It takes warehouse crew too much time to get from one corner of a warehouse to another to pick goods. Its simple to understand that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and that driving on a grid will create situations where the straight line to a destination is not possible.

So how do you reconfigure a warehouse such that an optimum amount of travel between picks is possible?  Researchers have determined that a fishbone aisles design is the optimal layout to deliver a 20 percent reduction in picking costs.

Even this new method serves to provide an optimal use for existing picking methods, but overlooks the obvious issues inherent with terestrial based picking equipment.

Still 20% saved for minimal warehouse redesign is nothing to ignore.

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Written by: Brett Bumeter, President