When slotting a warehouse, slow movers are not to be overlooked, as they typically constitute 70-80% of total items. A slow moving item is often characterized as one with few hits, or visits to the pick location. In instances where slow moving items take up the majority of space in a warehouse, it is critical that the items be slotted in a manner that facilitates intelligent slow mover picking. There are a number of techniques that can be employed to reduce selector travel and to increase pick density including layout configurations, selection strategies, and golden zoning considerations.
Through an evaluation of slow mover activity, one can determine the best size for a slow moving area and the picking techniques best suited for that area. Slow moving areas are often defined by cross aisles in the pick path that allow selectors to avoid travelling the entire length of the pick path. Picking techniques in the slow moving areas often differ from those in the fast moving areas. Batch picking often makes more sense in slow moving areas to increase pick density. Height or golden zone considerations are crucial in many pick to cart or pick to belt areas. Often pick to cart or pick to belt areas for slow movers are completely separate from the main fast moving area where orders are picked singularly in waves.
Although there is great benefit in focusing on the fastest moving items in the pick line, one should also examine the potential gain from evaluating slower moving items in the pick line.