– Supply Chain Insight –
An optimized operation is a safe operation for your workforce, your customers and your products
For any fulfillment operation, workforce safety is of utmost concern. After all, a warehouse floor can be a dangerous place with forklifts and pallet jacks constantly on the move and heavy – sometimes oddly shaped – product stored up and down the aisles. However, workforce safety is not the only thing that the average warehousing executive has to be concerned with. Let’s unpack.
As mentioned, workforce safety is of utmost importance for any fulfillment operation. The U.S. occupational safety and health administration reports that 1 in 20 warehouse workers are injured each and every year and that forklift-related injuries account for nearly half of the incidents reported.
It goes without saying that your workforce not only must be well trained and constantly alert while on the job, but the environment itself needs to conducive to safe operation. This means the alleviation of potential physical bottlenecks, unnecessary equipment activity (especially in high traffic areas) and the consistent adherence to weight restrictions for non-ergonomic pick locations, or the elimination of those locations altogether.
It’s fairly common for most modern fulfillment operations – especially those dealing with hazardous, temperature controlled or crushable items – that unsalable item due to damage can make up around 2% of total goods shipped.
That means, for every $1,000,000 worth of goods shipped, $20,000 is typically wasted. Some product damage is unavoidable, of course, but most can be avoided by maintaining proper sequencing so they can be stacked correctly onto the pallet as they’re being picked, ensuring items are zoned properly – especially items with unique requirements – and, finally, by ensuring the product is stored within the right material handling system i.e., no glass in non-ergonomic pick slots.
Last, but certainly not least, its incumbent on operators to ensure product integrity is not compromised before being shipped to its final destination. Obvious damage to the packaging or to the product itself is often caught prior to shipping but some damage is not too obvious to the naked eye. Spoiled product or contamination due to improper zoning is a big concern for those shipping food or other temperature controlled or hazardous items. Both can cause ramifications far beyond the cost of the wasted product.
Find out how a fulfillment optimization system can help improve the safety of your workforce, your product and your customers by automating your zoning, ergonomic and food safety guidelines for each and every new item you receive and ship.
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Categories: Distribution Center Design, Engineered Slotting, Process Optimization, Warehouse Optimization,