Achieving maximum warehouse productivity may often seem like an unattainable task, but with the right processes in place, it is definitely achievable. One step towards optimal warehouse productivity is to introduce the concept of task interleaving.
Task interleaving essentially takes multi-step tasks and consolidates them into a single workflow, for warehouse staff assignment. These warehouse tasks could include:
- Order Fulfillment
- Inventory Replenishment
- Consolidate Inventory
- Picking (Wave, Directed, Distributed)
- Cycle Counting
Interleaving helps to achieve maximum efficiency throughout the work day. It allows workers to complete replenishments, put-aways and picks simultaneously, and in a logical way.
Here are just a few examples of how task interleaving can improve warehouse productivity:
1) Eliminate Non-Productive Activities
Did you know up to 55% of order picking time is spent traveling? Task interleaving is designed to reduce deadheading (traveling without completing any useful tasks). For example, when a worker picks products and drops them off at a dock and then returns to the picking area without performing any useful tasks along the way. One of the biggest benefits associated with task interleaving is the reduction in unproductive activity.
2) Manage Labor Costs
In a competitive market, it is essential to keep costs down in order to gain full efficiency. Managing labor costs is another benefit that will greatly impact long-term growth. In addition to keeping labor costs down, task interleaving helps businesses thrive and flourish without the added cost of more labor. Productivity increases, but costs stay down. A complete Task Management solution, including task interleaving, can collect and monitor task data, letting you know precisely when and where tasks are completed, and by whom.
3) Eliminate Manual Efforts
Manual methods are time-consuming and prone to errors. Having task management software in place means that a lot more of manual work is lessened, and leaves workers free to pursue other productivity efforts without slowing down operations. Eliminate labor intensive, manual data entry while accurately predicting demand to increase customer satisfaction. Automate put-away, replenishment, order picking and cycle counting making paper lists and reporting a thing of the past.
4) Automate the Flow of Information
Keeping steady track of information flow may be hectic and difficult, especially during busy seasons. With task management software, this process becomes automated and much easier to handle. By automating data collection throughout the supply chain, you can eliminate manual tasks and decrease errors, so your data is always accurate. With automated processes in place, it will also become easier to measure productivity and understand where improvements are needed. The ultimate goal is maximum efficiency, and having measurable outcomes in place puts your goal within reach.
These are just some of the benefits associated with task interleaving. To learn more about how task management software can take your warehouse productivity to the next level, please contact a Product Specialist today for your free consultation.
Written by Radley Corporation