Warehouse Dimensioning: Maximizing Profit from Receiving to Shipping

Nirav Doshi, Managing Director,
Nido Machineries Pvt Ltd.

“As e-commerce continues to demand faster and faster perfection, the face of warehousing is changing. Accurate dimensional data is ground zero for improving warehousing processes. It enables all other systems and software to function as they should, leading to increased profit and efficiency…”

Using dimensioning systems throughout warehousing processes establishes the foundation to counteract costs and stretch savings. They can also mitigate common issues that prevent warehouses from fulfilling e-commerce customers desire to receive the perfect order, and typically smaller orders, in less time using fewer resources.

This article explores the advantages of using a dimensioning system through each aspect of warehousing to alleviate warehouse operational expenses, particularly in relation to e-commerce.

Receiving new SKUs

Problem/Cost: Manual receiving operations are prone to mistakes. Slow measuring and weighing of items can be inaccurate due to human error and tediousness, and the results can often be recorded inaccurately.

Solution/Savings: By measuring small parcels and items with Nido static dimensioning systems, employees can instantly receive data that verifies the product and indicates its proper slotting and storage. With this system, warehouse companies can increase their volume of SKUs more efficiently while reducing time and manpower costs.

“Irregularly-shaped items, such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, apparel, hardware, and consumer goods, can be measured with great precision using the infrared sensing technology of the Cubiscan 325. A mobile cart and useful accessories such as a portable power supply are available to create a completely mobile cubing, weighing, and identification workstation…”

Slotting SKUs Accurately

Problem/Cost: The process of slotting, which ensures that products are assigned to the most appropriate storage method, and optimizes the process of picking, often takes a lot of time and brainpower. While slotting can minimize product oss, occurring from heavy merchandise crushing lighter products, estimations can be problematic.

Solution/Savings: Irregularly-shaped items, such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, apparel, hardware, and consumer goods, can be measured with great precision using the infrared sensing technology of the Cubiscan 325. A mobile cart and useful accessories such as a portable power supply are available to create a completely mobile cubing, weighing, and identification workstation. Using the Cubiscan 325 enables employees to make better slotting decisions by knowing the exact dimensions and nesting capabilities of SKUs, all while creating a more efficient process.

It’s critical for inventory management systems to know the correct size of items for the rest of the processes to work properly. Dimensioning systems are the first step to saving money, and the Nido’s Static Dimensioning and Weighing System has no competition in terms of accuracy or capability.

Selecting the correct size of carton

Problem/Cost: When employees estimate what size of box to place an item in, a variety of problems can arise. By using a box that is too large, the company could pay to ship air as well as waste money and resources on void fillers and packing materials. If the box is not large enough, processes slow down when the item needs to be removed and repacked.

Solution/Savings: An optionally-conveyorized dimensioning system, such as the Nido’s Capella Dynamic DWS System, is useful for on-demand box making. It is capable of measuring boxes and irregularly-shaped objects with high precision, and can be used as a stand-alone unit, or can be installed in an “in-line” configuration with auxiliary conveyors. Measuring items quickly and accurately enables employees to spend less effort selecting the correct box the first time. Companies can also reduce the hassles which come with managing a large box inventory.

Check Weighing for Order Verification

Problem/Cost: Manual order inspections increase time and labour costs.

Solution/Savings: After a SKU’s weight has been calculated by a dimensioning system and uploaded to the warehouse management system, the data can be used to verify picking. The warehouse management system calculates how much each carton should weigh based on its size and each of the items it contains. A Dimensioning and Weighing System can help detect anomalies and support compliance, as well as prevent loss.

Building a Pallet–Fast and Sturdy Problem/Cost: Load instability can lead to substantial loss and safety issues.

Solution/Savings: By using dimensioning systems to collect data and then transfer that data to the warehouse management system, determining how items should be arranged on the pallet is a quick and painless process. Employees can clearly see which larger and heavier items should be placed on the bottom, and which smaller and lighter items should be stacked on top.

Cube out a Truck or Trailer

Problem/Cost: Inaccurate data reduces load efficiency.

Solution/Savings: When a dimensioning system like the Cubiscan 325 collects product data about items in an order, the warehouse management system can more effectively help with generating load setups for trailers. Whether a warehouse is shipping irregularly shaped products, cases, full pallets, or a mix of those configurations, accurate data quickly feeds into the appropriate software, which then determines how to load the truck to stay within weight limits while making the best use of space.

Decrease Shipping Expenses

Problem/Cost: Without correct dimensional data, expensive mistakes happen.

Solution/Savings: Because carriers use dimensional-weight billing, a shipper sending a large, low- density package needs to determine both the package’s actual weight, and its dimensional weight which takes into account the package’s length, width, and height. The higher of the two becomes the factor for the freight charge. With precise dimensional data, shippers can avoid chargebacks from carriers because they’re calculating their parcels correctly. Another advantage of collecting dimensional data is that shippers can estimate carrier charges. That enables companies to decrease shipping expenses by rate shopping.

In the world of e-commerce, it’s absolutely critical to have confidence in your dimensions.

You need to know what they are, or you can’t reduce costs.

Improve Customer Relationships

Problem/Cost: Poor data means losing customers.

Solution: Accurate data improves the service you can provide to customers. For example, customers can be confident that they’re being charged fairly for shipping costs when the dimensional data is noted on invoices. They can also improve their own operations when they use that information in their processes.

Conclusion

As e-commerce continues to demand faster and faster perfection, the face of warehousing is changing. Accurate dimensional data is ground zero for improving warehousing processes. It enables all other systems and software to function as they should, leading to increased profit and efficiency.

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