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How Task Interleaving Can Improve Warehouse Productivity: 4 Benefits You Need To Know

 
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 task interleaving.
 
Task interleaving takes multi-step, complimentary tasks and consolidates them into a single workflow. Then the software assigned tasks for warehouse staff. These warehouse tasks could include:
 
  • Order Fulfillment
  • Inventory Replenishment
  • Put-away
  • 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.
 
Here are a few examples of how task interleaving can generate productivity gains:
 
1) End Non-Productive Activities
Did you know up to 55% of order picking time is spent traveling? This traveling without completing any useful tasks is referred to as “deadheading”. Task interleaving combines picking tasks to reduce deadheading.
For example, in a traditional warehouse, a worker picks products and drops them off at a dock. Then they return to the picking area without performing any useful tasks along the way. One of the biggest benefits of task interleaving is the reduction of non-productive task types.
 
2) Manage Labor Costs
In a competitive market, companies must keep costs down to gain full efficiency. Managing labor costs is another benefit that will impact long-term growth. Productivity improves, but costs stay down.
A complete Task Management solution, including task interleaving, can collect and track task data. As a result, the software lets you know when and where tasks are completed, and by whom.
 
3) End Manual Efforts
Manual methods are time-consuming and prone to errors. Having task management software in place lessens manual work.
Also, workers are free to pursue more productive tasks without slowing down operations. Automate put-away, replenishment, order picking and cycle counting. Thus, the right software makes paper lists and reporting a thing of the past.
 
4) Automate the Flow of Information
Keeping track of information 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, you can end manual tasks and decrease errors. So your data is always accurate.
Also, it will also become easier to measure productivity and identify areas for improvement. The ultimate goal is maximum efficiency. Having measurable outcomes in place puts your goal within reach.
 
These are just some of the benefits associated with task interleaving in warehouses or distribution centers. A task interleaving solution can be part of a larger warehouse management system (WMS). In contrast, task interleaving could also be used as a stand-alone solution. Contact Radley to learn more about task management software.
 
Written by Radley Corporation
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