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Tips for Creating an Effective Warehousing Numbering Schemes

Sep 23, 2022

Businesses with storage or warehouse facilities may have relied on a small group of experienced employees who knew their way around the facility to locate and pick their inventory at various points in time. This group is the first people you turn to when you have a question or need to find a specific item in your warehouse inventory. With regular attendance, you can rely on them to keep track of inventory. Warehouses of this scale and scope now require about a third more space than they did a decade ago, making simple inventory systems or relying solely on human memory to locate products and unwise financial decisions. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have become increasingly popular for managing inventory and warehouse operations daily.


The Importance of Efficient Storage and Distribution Methods:

It's unlikely that anyone outside of warehouse managers and employees actively involved in day-to-day operations would be curious about warehouse systems and location schemes. When it comes to their business, they don't grasp how important it is to keep their warehouse running at a high-efficiency level.


  • Developing an effective warehouse numbering scheme

Warehouse location numbering schemes are used to identify the various divisions and locations inside a warehouse facility in their most basic form. Labeling is a matter; what could be more complicated? Others may make such claims, but they are unaware that an efficient numbering method requires more than merely placing numbers and stickers on bins and racks.


  • Use numerals in your writing

Using an alphanumeric labeling system to identify files, things, and locations have become widespread in many sectors. An alphabetic system may be less effective regarding warehouse operations than an utterly numerical system. These are some of the points made in a study published in the journal Material Handling and Logistics by the well-known material handling teacher Don Benson.


  • Reduce the number of location codes you use

Location codes and numbering schemes should always be kept as brief and precise as possible, regardless of the size of your warehouse. If your warehouse grows and you have to deal with additional aisles, racks, and bins, there will be more significant confusion with extended codes.


Make Use of a Sequential Methodology

It's in your best interest to follow a logical and sequential order when creating your labels, whether you're utilizing a number or alphabetic approach. This is preferable to other warehousing systems' usage of color codes. However, they tend to make blunders and human errors because a lapse in human memory makes them susceptible to forgetting what color follows another. Consider the following when developing your numbering strategy:


  • Aisles

Each aisle should be given a number. Different number sequences should be used for each part of the warehouse (e.g., the repack area, the pallet rack area, etc.) Using cross-aisle instead of assigning numbers to shelves, rows, and racks in racked areas can reduce the total picking journey distance. Higher aisle numbers from lower ones would be simpler to recall, especially in locations with more of them.


  • Section

In warehousing, the region between two upright structures is sometimes referred to as a "section" or "bay." Begin at the bottom and work your way up. Starting at the reception area and working your way to the other side is a sensible strategy.


  • Position

Each level has two slots (left and right), numbered 1 and 2 on the left and two on the right.


Optimize Your Positioning:

In the event of a sudden rise or shift in demand, corporations tend to stockpile various SKUs in their inventories to cope. It's not a good idea to have multiple SKUs in the same warehouse facility, even if many do so currently. Confusion will result, and your location numbering system will be less effective.


In addition, include cutting-edge technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Electronic Shelf Labels into your Warehouse Management Systems' database to maximize efficiency (WMS). Inventory management will be a breeze with a fully automated rack and bin system.


Use Specialized Labeling Systems to Your Advantage:

It will be less effective if you continue to use manual systems and paper labels for location numbering while improving your warehouse architecture and establishing an efficient location numbering scheme. In addition, using printed labels might be a waste of resources and a financial burden.


Traditional stickers and printed labels can be replaced with ESL, or Electronic Shelf Labels, a great alternative. You can be more accurate and less prone to human mistake labeling systems when these technologies are combined with other cutting-edge systems like the Internet of Things (IoT).


For example:

Product Name: MTag58

  • Dimension: 183 * 129 * 16 mm

  • Active Display Area: 163 * 98 mm

  • The display color: black white red black white yellow, white, and red black white

  • Protocol: Version 5.0 of the Bluetooth Low Energy standard

  • Dimension: 99 * 94 * 14 mm

  • The display area that is now active: 8.5 x 6.4 inches

  • Color: All black and white, or black and red, or black and yellow

  • Protocol: Version 5.0 of the Bluetooth Low Energy standard


Organize, Share, and Activate:

The principles and processes for implementing a location numbering system should be formalized and standardized after you finish the location numbering scheme. Everyone can be trained and familiarized with your system due to this method. It's also a good idea to utilize maps and other visual aids to show where things are.


Assemble Your Forces and Work Together:

Teamwork makes any program far more effective than one done alone. Everyone in your organization should be well-versed in your country's area codes and dialing procedures. Add to this by conducting operational assessments and providing regular training on the latest upgrades and effective methods for transferring new knowledge to employees.


Conclusion:

Many assume that a simple name code or a location numbering scheme is complex. Although warehouse operations are notoriously chaotic, such numbering schemes should be sufficient to keep everything under control. Diverse companies in numerous industry sectors use a variety of approaches. A location numbering system that is less prone to error, more precise, and more productive can be achieved by simply sticking to what is feasible and widely accepted.