Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How We Do Storage, and How You Can Too

Our Parts Department is a busy place, with parts coming and going, customers and technicians stopping in and the phones ringing off the hook.  To stay orderly and efficient, WD Matthews believes in the 5-S’s.  Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.  Practicing 5S helps us to support 50 technicians and hundreds of customers at the highest levels, each and every day.  The ideas are simple, they are easy to implement and they pay huge dividends.  Our Allied Sales Team sources and supplies everything needed to “5S” our warehouse, and they can do the same for you.  If you’d like to improve your storage density, efficiency and organization with simple ideas such as these, or you have more elaborate plans like a VLM or flow storage solution, give them a call.  Terry and Staci would be happy to discuss your needs and offer any help that you may need.  

1) Visibility -
We use contrasting color shelving so the parts stand out, which serves to increase picking accuracy and allows us to visually identify stock-out and overstock situations.

2) Magnetic Labels -
We have updated our entire warehouse with Part Number Labels affixed to magnetic backs.  This allows for quick and easy location changes when it becomes necessary.  Storage flexibility is the ultimate goal and is especially helpful for fast moving items and items with changing sales velocity.

3) Visual Separation -
We use magnetic strips to visually separate one location from another.  It creates a physical “home” for the part, helps speed picking and put-away, and maintains our highly flexible storage system by allowing quick location changes.

4) Organization -
Everything has its place – seriously.  If the ladder is always here, everyone will know where to get it, when then need it, all the time.

5) Location -
Every location is labeled, clearly and logically – Rows, Units and Shelves.  Everyone knows where everything is – period.  Row 5, Unit A, Shelf 5-8 

6) Kaizen -
Every warehouse has issues, there’s no way around it.  To improve, you work on one at a time.  We spent months struggling with hose storage before we asked our own Allied Sales Group for help.  Here’s the solution they came up with – inexpensive, effective, organized and efficient.  Thanks Terry and Staci!  This is great!

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