Internal Warehouse Handling - A Reverse Logistic Case!

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hi

I am on a case for our reverse logistics, to research for improvements. We are a distribution center/warehousing of among others CD/DVD's. As you might figured out it is not a marked for large longterm investments! So please, I need some further input on how to improve the simple tasks on the operational level.

Some of the goods that the stores/supermarkets did not sell, simply we get it back, and in this context reverse logistic is restricted to that. The overall things about what, how much, why and informations etc., we are working on that to reduce the input on a longer term.

______

So here is an example of the processes:

1) When the goods from a store arrive, normally on a pallet with several packages, they are placed for later threatment, marked with the date for arrival. A paper with a list of all the arrived unchecked goods is updated. The pallets can be placed on row a, b or c. So date and a/b/c helps them find it later on.

2) FIFO, so oldest dates from the list is taken first (so far no real planning, working on that).. The pallets with boxes are moved to the end of the ''unpacking tables''.

3) Workers find a box from the pallet, put it on their table, unboxing and find the papers for the goods, and note the track and trace number from the package on it.

4) Checking the goods are the most time consuming thing, and it depends a lot on the type of items. For some CD's without folio, they need to open every single cover to check for scracthes etc. (if we know they are going for resale). Anyway they count them and check on the paper that the correct amount is there. For broken items it is written on the paper, which another fellow are collecting and taking care of (manual not IT).

They sort them after titles and they try to place them in boxes for each titel on the table (you always hope for similar titels, which has something to do with the date of arrival, but it might overlap).
They might do this proces with like 3-5 packages, where they collect the titles in boxes - optimal 25 of the same titles in one box.

5) Lets say that both worker A and worker B have done proces 4) on their own table. So on the floor next to these working tables, a row of pallets is placed = an open location (like 5 pallets), and the items are placed there /sorted.

So Worker A takes from his table his sorted boxes and put them on an open location, and Worker B do the same with her sorted boxes to this shared open location.

So if Worker A are first and place a box with like 5 items with the titel ''Example'', then worker B must find these and put hers e.g. 9 titles of ''Example'' in this box, up to 25, then they start on a new box on the top of the other. (From the pallet you must be able to access all titles). The finding process is not an issue for small open locations, they make up their own system, but in another larger warehouse, we are working on IT-system to suupport this.

6) Then they continue with process 3-5...

7) At some point they choose to ''close'' the open location and moved it to a waiting position, the location number follow. And they start on a new open location with a new number.

8) The now closed location from the waiting position, is moved to the main warehouse, where some other workers set them out, ready to be shiped for new customers. Unfortunately the places are seperated, I cannot change that easily.
______


So how to speed up the process?

For process 4 and forward I see lots of similiar processes, but on the other hand to take one CD or DVD at a time an place it in the main warehouse, would be stupid too. So how large should the lots be? Should it follow the workers in the main warehouse and their rute?

Could the layout be done in a way, so worker A and B share table, so their table is = the open location?


Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment.
 
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A

Al Dyer

#2
Mikael

I am on a case for our reverse logistics, to research for improvements. We are a distribution center/warehousing of among others CD/DVD's. As you might figured out it is not a marked for large longterm investments! So please, I need some further input on how to improve the simple tasks on the operational level............................

Thank you for your question!!

No matter what I may think and I will surely catch some crap here. Are you dealing in pirated material?

Al...
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Ah sorry, its fully legal, getting it from real suppliers like Sony and Universal. I am not a fan of pirated material at all.

If it was pirated, we could just make a copy as needed, but in our case we must take specific lots to get discounts...
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
As I see it, you have two main sorting tasks:

  1. sorting product by ID (title and whether CD/DVD)
  2. sorting product by resellable or scrap
I presume comments about "scratches, etc." were referring to "shelf-worn" packaging of unopened product. Can those be repackaged for resale or are they scrap, too?

You haven't discussed the financial aspect with the retailer. How is credit determined? How are claims handled for product claims of manufacturer defect?

Can more burden be placed on retailer for sorting product prior to return? At the least, I would expect separate product ID be grouped separately. I'm not sure I would accept opened individual product packages unless they came under "manufacturer defect" claim to a separate department within your operation (an inspection or "Manufacturer Review Board" to adjudicate they are, in fact, manufacturer defect.)

Most logistics problem solutions involve making "straight line" movement of goods. This means sorting for ID is different from sorting for defect so one activity of sorting should be complete (ID) before sorting for defect in packaging (inspection) so operator only makes one decision on each item passing through his hands. Definitely, any decision about manufacturer defect should be separate from straightforward sorting for visual defect.

The base problem I see is that quantity of product return was not anticipated and planned for, resulting in a mixed ad hoc process of one person required to make several decisions about an item at a time (ID, package condition, possible product damage.)

Reconfiguring process lines to be "linear" (one decision at a time) may even result in using LESS floor space.
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Thank you Wes for an interesting answer, and sorry that I am not able to give a promt answer, I just needed to reflect upon it. PLZ let me be back with a more detailed answer soon.
 
M

Marchleo

#6
Well, Having the right warehouse management system is critical to running an accurate, efficient distribution operation. Cool resources!


Cheers,
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
Thank you Wes for an interesting answer, and sorry that I am not able to give a promt answer, I just needed to reflect upon it. PLZ let me be back with a more detailed answer soon.
Still waiting on that answer. Limbo is only fun when it's a game of sliding under a pole, fueled by alcoholic beverages. Limbo in the sense of waiting for something better to happen, is NEVER fun.
 
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