What is Warehouse Putaway Process? Best Practices To Be Adopted For Optimizing Warehouse Putaway Process

Warehouse managers have consistently identified the warehouse putaway procedure as one of the significant causes of warehousing inefficiency throughout the years. The putaway technique utilized by many warehouse managers evaluated was incredibly inefficient.

To improve the pick-pack-ship process and protect the security of goods, equipment, and workers, warehouses must have a precise and effective warehouse putaway procedure. A warehouse is always in motion from when an order is placed until it is sent. Therefore, getting putaway properly might be crucial for your company because it’s one of the most necessary warehousing procedures.

The many putaway tactics, their advantages, and how a 3PL may aid in enhancing warehouse inventory management will all be clarified in this article.

What is Putaway Processing in Warehouse?

Putaway in the warehouse is an essential part of warehouse management, which includes a number of procedures beginning with receiving in the warehouse and concluding with ensuring that inventory is kept in the proper warehouse locations. However, it involves much more than merely transferring the stuff from place A to place B.

It becomes considerably more effective and straightforward to store goods without losing any SKUs with a systematic warehouse putaway system. Additionally, this procedure enhances warehouse organization and makes it simpler for pickers to locate the required SKU fast.

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Types Of Warehouse Putaway Process

Although the warehouse putaway process(from dock to stock) may appear like a straightforward procedure, it has to be carefully planned because it is an essential part of storage.

You might select one of these three kinds of warehouse putaway based on the kind, amount, and diversity of physical goods you have as well as other distinctive aspects of your company:

Fixed Position Putaway

Retailers who need to store a wide variety of products in the warehouse and want them to be accessible to customers may adopt this procedure.

A distinct warehouse area designed for storing each type of commodity is allotted to it.

For instance, preserved food will always be kept in a space with a regulated temperature. Additionally, heavier items will be housed in the bottom racks of the warehouse, while lightweight items can be held on the higher shelves.

Dynamic Putaway

Do you have a uniform mix of products? Are their physical attributes—size, weight, etc., similar? For that, pick a dynamic putaway to simplify stock retrieval and storage. Demand management is prioritized as judgments are made in real-time regarding where to put incoming inventories.

Depending on the number of their sales, the items must be housed in the most accessible areas for quick collection as soon as they enter the warehouse.

On the other hand, keeping track of the items is more challenging without a robust tech-powered ERP like warehouse management software because they are stored in new locations every time.

Direct Putaway

Direct warehouse putaway necessitates the least amount of product handling. Straight putaway, you may store the entire batch in a designated area without going through each item. For instance, putting the order away makes more sense than separating and storing each product if it is only for one buyer.

Factors Affecting the Warehouse Putaway Process

Depending on these three key elements, you should pick one of the putaway methods:

Putaway Considering Movement

Order fulfilment times may decrease by using ABC analysis to store things based on movement. Fast-moving goods, referred to as “A” categories, should be maintained close to the staging area and at an appropriate height so they may be picked up and prepared for shipment immediately. Similarly, “C” category items that move slowly should be stored towards the back of the warehouse.

Putaway Based on the Kind of Package

Products can be stored using this strategy based on their package. For instance, regardless of the type of goods, pallets and individual products can be stored in various places. Similar distinctions can be made between shipments depending on weight, shipment type, storage needs, and more.

Utilization-Based Putaway

Several goods are frequently combined, such as gas stoves and kitchenware. Employees can streamline the warehouse putaway process by grouping these goods according to their usage and the reasons they are being transferred.

Benefits Of Warehouse Putaway Process

An effective warehouse putaway procedure may result in less expensive and speedier outbound operations. A warehouse can gain the following main advantages by employing a planned and efficient putaway process:

Optimizes The Layout Of The Warehouse

You may make the most of your available retail warehouse space by adequately planning the workflow of your putaway procedure. It is simpler to keep things where they belong by grouping items of the same shape and size together and separating them based on various factors. By doing this, you may avoid disorganized inventory management that can limit warehouse employees’ freedom of movement and ability to complete timely picking and packaging.

Enhances The Selection Process

Pickers wander about the warehouse for more than half their typical workday, looking for the items on their order. Travel can account for 50% of the picking time and another half of the total labour cost. They may significantly save the time it takes to look for items and complete an order by putting a solid warehouse putaway process in place. A practical choice procedure is unquestionable.

Accurate Inventory Management

Human mistakes and inaccurate inventory management systems can be expensive for the company. In the warehousing business, the typical picking mistake rate ranges from 1 to 3 per cent. This translates to an average cost per inaccuracy and a profit drain of up to 15%. You can accurately track where each product is, how much there is, and many other things when you have a putaway procedure. Additionally, it lessens the likelihood of losing or misplacing an item.

Increasing Stock of High-Value Products

Stocks of high-volume items can be increased by keeping them in an area that is simple to access and keep track of. Additionally, it stops pickers from repeatedly searching the warehouse for a specific item and delaying order fulfilment. You’ll be able to tell right away whether the stock is falling.

Suggested Read: Smart Warehouses Management System

Best Practices to be Adopted For Optimizing Warehouse Putaway Process

When improving warehouse operations, warehouse managers frequently overlook the putaway process, even though it is a crucial step in raising warehouse productivity. The selecting process, in particular, is directly impacted by the initial arrangement of the products in the warehouse. Travel and picking and packing times are longer when things are not kept in the most convenient place. The security/integrity of the cargo and the employees’ safety are also at risk when cargo is not stored in the most advantageous position.

The best practices and technology that warehouse managers may employ to enhance the warehouse putaway process and boost warehouse productivity are listed below.

Collect Data and Report Analytics In Real Time

Data is king when it comes to optimizing warehouse operations and putting in place a productive putaway procedure.

Data on order/sales volume, storage availability, cargo category (e.g., Hazmat, perishable, high value, etc.), cargo size, weight, and height must be recorded regularly to determine the ideal storage site.

As a result, two essential components of the warehouse management system (WMS) are required: sufficient and flexible data collecting capabilities and ongoing data analysis.

The next stage is ensuring that we are collecting data reliably and effectively by automating collection as feasible after the relevant WMS is in place. This will enable us to eliminate entry mistakes and cut back on overhead.

For instance, an integrated digital weighted scale may collect cargo weight data, while a package or pallet dimensioning system can gather data on dimensions. Both approaches automate these processes and do away with data entering mistakes.

Keep an Eye on Space Availability and Storage Capacity

By keeping an eye on storage capacity and availability, saving wasteful journey time to places with an insufficient room or ability to store the cargo and boosting warehouse efficiency is possible.

To monitor capacity and space availability, warehouses may track used/unused space throughout warehouse zones using barcode scanners and bin positions. Currently, the majority of warehouse management systems support this method (WMS). This system, however, is vulnerable to human error since it depends on the warehouse clerk to scan the position of the bin and the contents each time they complete a putaway or pick action.

The use of RFIDs to automatically record tasks without human interaction is another strategy. The usage of RFIDs in conjunction with more sophisticated solutions, such as sensors, will be part of an ecosystem of technologies to enable real-time tracking of capacity and space within the warehouse, even if this solution is still being adjusted and tested.

Shorten Travel Time

Another crucial element in streamlining warehouse operations, including the putaway process, is cutting down on travel time. Again, the aim is to reduce the time for items to transit from the receiving region to the storage site.

Warehouse managers may perform an ABC analysis to comprehend high volume/frequency cargo better. Then, to cut down on trip time, the warehouse layout should be modified (if required) to bring high volume/frequency goods closer to shipping locations.

For this to work, it’s critical to continuously monitor order volume and frequency and adjust when significant alterations occur.

Another option to reduce travel time is to designate routes that take the quickest way to the storage site. Warehouse managers should consider things like distance, warehouse traffic jams, and potential conflicts with other procedures that need movement.

When Possible, Utilize Direct Putaway Process In Warehouse

Whenever feasible, employ straight warehouse putaway as another great practice.

With this technique, no staging phase is involved in moving the goods from the receiving region to the final destination. This method expedites the procedure while requiring less handling and warehouse space because it does not require specific staging areas.

When putting this strategy into practice, it’s critical to remember that the WMS must be able to assign final locations from the point of delivery at the receiving dock or from the advance shipment notice (ASN). Without this ability, it is nearly hard to manage an efficient straight warehouse putaway operation.

Use Both Fixed and Moving Locations

If the circumstances permit, utilizing a balanced combination of permanent and dynamic locations is also conceivable.

A fixed placement is a predetermined storage area, warehouse zone, lane, or bin designated based on specific criteria. For instance, a fixed location may be connected to a particular client, product category, or end destination. Because warehouse employees can remember the precise position assigned to each container, fixed locations help the operation run more efficiently.

Dynamic locations, on the other hand, offer greater flexibility since they let employees place anything in the first empty spot they come across. A trustworthy inventory management system is essential when employing dynamic locations to track products and locations.

Additionally, high-volume seasonal products can be temporarily stored close to pickup sites using dynamic placements, and when volumes change, they can be swapped out for another item(s).

Keep Warehouse Clean and Organized

Lastly, an effective process might depend on having a tidy and organized warehouse or distribution centre.

A crowded and disorganized facility will directly impact the pace at which items are stored. To get to the intended place, clerks must first discover suitable spots, shift freight to make room for it, and negotiate barriers. Most significantly, disorganized warehouses put workers at greater risk for injury and raise the possibility that the integrity of the cargo might be compromised.

Streamlining your warehouse procedures or utilizing the newest technologies won’t help if your warehouse isn’t clean and orderly.

Conclusion

The warehouse putaway process is equally critical to the warehouse as picking, packing, and shipping. It remains, nonetheless, one of the most overlooked features of the warehouse. Businesses that don’t implement an efficient warehouse putaway procedure may encounter various issues, including decreased production, product losses, ineffective inventory management, and more.

Warehouses and fulfilment centres cannot afford to adopt a complacent mindset and allow process inefficiencies to impact productivity negatively and, in turn, the customer experience in today’s fast-paced and always-changing consumer market. Therefore, there is a more critical requirement for constant visibility and data-driven business advice to make all fulfilment operations error-free.

How Can WareIQ Enhance The Putaway Process In Warehouse

With technological solutions, WareIQ assists e-commerce businesses in optimizing putaway and other warehousing procedures.

Our distribution and fulfilment services make monitoring warehouse KPIs incredibly simple and expedite the warehouse putaway process. This increases your company’s capacity for inventory optimization.

Additionally, our clients have access to a network of fully functional distribution facilities, complete with staff and other services for warehouse management.

The technology, support, and expanding distribution network made possible by WareIQ’s warehouse network system enables retail enterprises to scale.

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