What does Put Away mean?
Put away in warehouse is a crucial aspect of warehouse management, which involves several processes starting with warehouse receiving and ending with ensuring that inventory is stored in the right warehouse locations such as racks, shelves etc. Put away is a rule-based system of moving items from a received shipment to the right places in warehouses. The initial placement of goods has a direct impact on all subsequent warehouse processes,
especially the picking process. With a strategic warehouse put away system in place, it becomes so much more efficient and straightforward to store inventory without misplacing any SKUs. This process also improves warehouse tidiness and makes it easier for pickers to find the right SKU quickly.
Objectives of Put Away
The prime objective of the put-away process is to move goods from the dock to the most optimal warehouse storage location. Other objectives include
- Storing SKUs quickly and efficiently
- Reducing travel distance to a minimum in the warehouse
- Maximizing the space utilization
- Easy tracking and finding of products in the warehouse
- Storing goods in locations that are easy and quick to retrieve during picking
Types of Put away
Depending on the criteria such as type of materials, physical weights of materials, quantity, size of warehouses and other unique features of the business, there are four different types of warehouse put away as shown-
Put away based on space availability
Depending on available storage space, i.e., whether items had to be put away to final locations immediately or later, there are two categorizations.
Direct Put away
- The moment goods reach the warehouse, with direct put away the goal is to ready it for dispatch/transportation to their final location within the warehouse, without spending time in temporary storage locations.
- For smaller items, direct put away is used, which means that on receiving the items in trucks, the workers load them down and immediately send them to an available/assigned warehouse space.
- Direct put away is practised in relatively small-sized warehouses, fewer locations and less variety in materials.
- This also means there is less chance of human error and also easier to locate bins and shelves to put away the items reducing unnecessary movement and handling of the goods.
Indirect Put away
- For the large drums to be placed over floor markings, indirect put-away is used.
- When the large drums arrive at the docking station, they are brought down with forklifts and stored at a temporary area.
- After finding ideal spots for these drums, workers move the drums to marked locations and not racks or bins since each drum is huge.
- Indirect out away is used in more locations with huge warehouses meaning it is hard to locate where to put away.
- Using indirect put away gives more control and precision when sending items to their correct locations in warehouses.
Put away based on location rules
Fixed Location Put away
- In a fixed location put away, a particular location is permanent for a group of items.
- This process is ideal for retailers who have many varieties of goods that need to be stocked in the warehouse, and want them to be retrieved easily.
- Since the location is fixed, the key advantage is less chance of confusion
- Each category of goods is assigned a specific warehouse space that is conducive to storing them.
- For example, frozen food will always be stored in a temperature-controlled storage area and heavier goods will be placed in the lower warehouse racks, while lighter goods can be stored on the higher shelves.
Dynamic Location Put away
- It involves making decisions in real time about where to store incoming inventory while prioritizing. demand management
- As goods enter the warehouse, depending on their sales volumes, they must be stored in the most convenient locations for fast pickup.
- On the flip side, since the goods are stored in different locations every time, it is more difficult to keep track of them without robust warehouse management software.
- In dynamic put away, the location is not fixed and the items are put away in any available space where they can fit.
Advantages of Put away
Reduces the chance of lost or misplaced items
- It is easier to track and locate SKUs while putting away restocked inventory.
- Knowing the inventory position not only improves inventory accuracy but also helps avoid instances of misplaced or pilferage SKUs.
- Since the put-away process encourages the warehouse workers to account for each SKU, the source of any inventory discrepancies can also be tracked.
Improve the picking process
- If the top-selling items are stocked in locations that are easy for the picker to access, it will speed up the picking process.
- This shortens the order cycle time and with faster deliveries.
Effective use of storage space
- An organized put-away strategy will help decide the best ways to use the warehouse setup to save space and reduce inventory carry costs.
- It also helps maintain a clean and organized warehouse.
- Efficient put-away and slotting also bolster warehouse safety and integrity of the stock by ensuring that goods get stored in appropriate locations.