When undertaking a warehouse slotting initiative to improve productivity, it’s important to design a plan that extends beyond an initial re-set. Having the foresight to consider ways to prolong the benefits resulting from a re-set allows an operation the potential to impact distribution for a long time, possibly with minimal strategic changes. With a strong handle on the types of data available as well as slotting goals and constraints, an operation can employ a number of techniques to perform and elicit benefit from an initial product re-set and/or slot maintenance.
By first understanding factors such as the availability of time and data, in addition to overall objectives, an operation can determine what type of re-set approach, if any, will best suit its needs; various approaches range from re-sets that require compressed time periods and increased labor, to exercises conducted over longer periods of time and with more slowly realized benefit, to a more theoretical approach that homes in on a subset of items that require the most attention. Although a re-set on its own can improve slotting drastically, it’s important to also understand the value of slot maintenance, either in conjunction with a re-set or independently. Slot maintenance can both fine-tune a re-set and/or be employed independently to tackle and manage regular slotting challenges like seasonality and promotional activity, changing SKU mix, daily and weekly changes in product velocities, and more.
Although an operation can achieve significant benefit by executing a well-designed slot re-set, it’s important to also consider the impact and continued benefit that defining and employing a strong slot maintenance strategy can offer.