Travel Time During Picking Reduced by 65%, Picking Time Reduced by 17%
One of Kenco’s customers, a diversified provider of industrial-use products and services produces large industrial machinery. The scope of services Kenco performs include all inbound scheduling and receiving, picking and sequencing parts, delivering parts to assembly lines, and managing and shipping returnable racks to the suppliers.
The customer wanted to reduce the lots sizes to increase flexibility and meet the customer demand.
The challenge created for Kenco by this process change is it would require visiting pick locations more frequently during the day but picking less product each time. With no other changes, an increase in staffing levels would be required. Kenco was asked to support this change without increasing staffing.
Kenco worked with the customer to revamp the storage of these lots. Kenco and the customer worked together to design dividers that would work with the racking system already in place at CMO. By using these dividers, we eliminated the need for the use of large oversized baskets that were not maximizing the rack space (about 50% of the rack space was not used efficiently). By removing the baskets and more efficiently using the available rack space, we were able to reduce the number of racks needed to hold all of the parts. This reduced the picking footprint and travel time and distance.
Kenco also updated the material handling equipment by installing opportunity chargers for the batteries. These new chargers gave Kenco the ability to charge the equipment at breaks and lunches without any cool down delays and without harming the life of the batteries themselves. Better yet, this allowed for no down time due to un-charged equipment. At night, the opportunity chargers will go through the full battery charging and cool down processes. Thus, we had less down time and our equipment was being better maintained.
Our last step was to move Small Parts right beside Bulk Parts so that we could share employee recourses and also reduce the footprint further.
The dividers helped in reducing the travel time by 65.2% and the Picking time by 17.33%. By moving the Small Parts next to the Bulk Parts, we were able to cross train the 3 employees to do both jobs and we did not have to hire any additional personal. With the addition of the opportunity chargers, we have not had any down time due to stock picker batteries.