Warehousing activities and operations
When companies produce goods they have to store them, this activity is called warehousing. There are three ways to store goods. The first one is shelving, in which goods are kept on shelves; this method is used for light weight products. The second method is racking. This activity involves goods that are kept on racks and is employed for medium and heavy weight goods. The third is block-storage operation, which means that cartons and pallets are stored on the floor. This method is used for heavy weigh goods. The costs that have to be considered with warehousing are manufacturer costs, material handling equipment costs, safety device costs, support costs, miscellaneous (uniforms, meals… ) costs, storage costs (racks are more expensive than shelves), and finally real estate costs. The latter one takes up the most of the budget in terms of warehousing costs. Cross-docking means that goods come and go immediately from the warehouse. The space between the racks shelves and pallets is called the aisle. In order to ensure an efficient storage of goods, product pre-inspected and standard conformity is necessary. This activity is called marshaling. Once the inspection takes place, goods have to be categorized in order to know what the storage product distribution is. This operation is called staging. Stock keeping unit (SKU) is another warehousing tool that involves a unique identifier process, thanks to this activity, goods can be rapidly identified. Inbound operations include unloading, marshaling, staying put away, and putting goods on shelves, racks or in block-storage. Outbound operations are picking and loading.
Many factors have to be taken into account to define a clear, coherent, and collaborative plan. First, forecasting is a useful and necessary activity that allows companies to set up a resource plan which addresses manpower, number of machines which are necessary, and...