In the manufacturing industry, effective warehouse task management is essential. The resulting good business outcomes for your warehouse or distribution center are many. These may include timeliness, efficient use of resources, and quick turn-around. Effective use of either task management or task interleaving can reduce inefficiencies. But understanding the difference between the two is challenging. Even more so is learning which is best for your business. To simplify the process we’ve created a brief comparison of the two.
Warehouse management systems (WMS) all integrate some type of warehouse task management protocol. This prioritizes warehouse tasks based on specific criteria. Also, it keeps track of those tasks, to ensuring completion or scheduling of tasks as needed. The WMS schedules and tracks the tasks, completing each as an individual task. Once complete, it assigns a new task, and so on.
Task management does not need a lot changes in processes to integrate. Its introduction into existing warehouse management systems does not require physical restructuring.
Task interleaving is a form of warehouse task management that goes a step further. It organizes and combines tasks into a logical sequence. The process assigns more than one task at a time through the WMS. With task interleaving, it is possible to schedule several tasks to a machine or person in a picking area. At the same time taking into account the proximity, importance, and location of each task. The sequence of tasks reduces deadheading, or downtime. It also eliminates the need for reassignment every time a task is complete. It combines tasks to avoid downtime and inefficiencies. At the same time, interleaving increases productivity in warehouse processes.
Some warehouses are not ideal for task interleaving. The location of resources and processes is key. For instance, machines, tools and other resources must be strategically placed. Task interleaving depends on effective warehouse design to achieve greatest efficiency.
Finding the perfect solution to optimize tasks may seem daunting. Radley’s expert team can configure solution to meet your unique workflows. Contact us today for your free consultation.
For more information on warehouse task management, read Warehouse Management Systems: A Complete Guide.