This best practice is about something called dimensioning of SKU’s in warehouse. Dimensioning of products is done by capturing the length width and height of the products. Boxes in which the products are being shipped are also dimensioned. These boxes are tracked as they are moved across with products capturing all the dimensions such as length, width, height, weight, volume and also the other attributes. The item master attributes of a product corresponds to the size of the products.
Some expensive electronic goods does not come with serial number tracking, and some items will be conveyable and others will be non-conveyable. And also some of the items are easy to sort and some are difficult. All these aspects will be focused as part of the dimensioning process, because that is the first time the product hits the dock door or product hits the DC.
None would have seen the physical nature of the product. The vendor would have probably sent an ASN and you automatically create an item master record for those items, so that when the ASN comes through and when the people in the receiving dock receives they can correctly slot in the product at the available space. This can be done by sending the product to the dimensioning station where it will be typically scanned in a machine called Cubiscan. This helps you in high speed dimensioning of products, by having the products lined-up on the queue and the cubiscan scans it very fast.
It will measure the length, width, height and then also the weight and the volume. Along with that markups, flags can also be added mentioning whether it is a conveyable, non-conveyable, sortable, non-sortable, serial number tracking, etc. And also any other flags that are relevant for your operations can be added. Here are the 4 areas in the warehouse where dimensioning can add value and helps in optimized use of resources. Dimensioning can help in a lot of places, for example on the inbound side it helps in the directed put-away process.
- Directed put-away is a process where you can automate the space booking without the user needing to find the space to stick the palette. The system should be thinking for the user and show them the place they can take it. This is all possible with dimensioning of the location on various aspects such as length, width, height, volume rate or restriction and then based on this item length, width, and height at the case level and at the pallet level, the system can check if this can fit in there and then recommend that location to the user.
- Even in the active location level you can take advantage of the dimensions and come up with mins and maxes for the location, based on the dimension as well as based on your order volume and sales history.
- Also on the outbound side it’s very helpful for cartonization because you want to it helps to put your order in the smallest box where all these items will fit. This is done to keep the transportation cost as low as possible. The system will pick the right box which is not too big. This process will decrease the transportation costs obviously because the parcel services such as FedEx, UPS they are going to charge a lot more if the boxes are big and if you can optimize and keep it in such a small box then you are going to save a lot of money in the transportation costs.
- Also at the time manifesting being done we can automate to some extent meet some thresholds. It will be very helpful if you do the dimensioning accurately and make sure that you know all these other additional flags are captured very well. Hopefully this best practice is useful to you.
Please share your thoughts and comments on dimensioning below.