Baskets – Your Low Tech Picking Solution Delivering Warehouse Efficiencies
Baskets – Your Low Tech Picking Solution Delivering Warehouse Efficiencies as featured in UKWA Warehouse Magazine (Nov/Dec 22)
Warehouse automation, robotics, and internet-enabled machinery might be all the rage for top tier logistics and distribution operations, but for many, adopting these technologies still feels like a lifetime away.
And whereas correctly installed and operated they undoubtedly bring huge efficiencies to a warehouse environment, the required investment in equipment and staff training is simply out of the reach of most middle-tier businesses.
But according to Mike Gorman, Sales Director of East Yorkshire-based racking and storage specialists Filstorage, many businesses could bring huge efficiencies to their warehouse operations with a far lower tech solution, particularly those in the clothing and similar sectors.
Unlike the top flight e-commerce businesses lauded for their super slick operations, many British warehouses are disorganised with a picking face that is not optimised for staff to be able to find products, or access them quickly.
Some, he suggested, may constitute a health and safety hazard.
“As a design, fit out and racking specialist, we spend a huge amount of time looking at affordable ways businesses can bring efficiencies to their warehousing operations,” Mike said.
“And whereas there are some shining examples of automated operations enabling logistics and distribution hubs to run like clockwork, the truth is these are in the minority.
“Many of the warehouses we visit are very disorganised and could benefit from some pretty basic reorganisation of the product categories so they can be found in a logical order, and some simple technology that makes it easier for workers to operate efficiently.
“Some are even worse than this and utilise the floor as storage space, which not only makes it practically impossible for products to be found as they’re often shoved around so they don’t cause a blockage, but it is a dangerous trip hazard for operatives.”
Mike added that some of the biggest transformations his company had delivered had been by installing plastic coated wire baskets that create an organised, easy-to-use picking face.
The baskets are favoured due to the plastic coating that protects the product inside as well as the person picking the item.
He said these provide an incredibly cost effective solution to any business wanting to reorganise their warehouse as they could be used in conjunction with existing racking or stacked on top of each other to create mobile stacking sets.
What’s more, they can be quickly and easily disassembled and reassembled in a different place or configuration if the product lines or warehouse layout changes.
Mike said: “It’s amazing that in a time when digital and robotic technology is constantly making the headlines that such a low tech solution is still able to transform a business.
“We have been selling plastic-coated wire-frame baskets since the company started out almost 30 years ago and they remain incredibly popular.
“They are particularly popular with clothes businesses or any business in the cloth sector as the smooth plastic coating doesn’t snag the items they store, but equally, builders merchants and other self-selection stores will use them to display products in the shop for customers to pick directly.
“They really are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment for warehouse managers looking for a cost effective solution to bringing order to their warehouse and increasing efficiency without need to invest a fortune or retrain their staff.”
Watch our fantastic case study on Bonmarche, where they changed to Filplastic baskets for their order picking process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVnqXu6TNXA