Unlike most consulting firms, KOM International works with clients to implement its recommendations to ensure that anticipated benefits are fully realized or exceeded. Whether distribution facilities are being constructed or expanded or consolidated, there are important measures to take to protect your investment. New software, hardware and materials handling technologies can be complex and having the experience of KOM International throughout the implementation phase will ultimately save your firm significant time and money and ensure the success of the project.
KOM's implementation services include:
KOM International develops all materials handling equipment / software / hardware bid specifications, which are then issued to selected suppliers in the form of requests for proposals. Supplier bids are summarized and presented to our clients and as part of a team review process. During the supplier selection process, KOM International assists clients in the negotiation of bid proposals to ensure that maximum value is realized and that specifications and terms are respected by suppliers at all times.
The science of "slotting" involves the assignment of a fixed pick location(s) to each item in the distribution center. Slotting is a critical efficiency strategy in operating environments where fixed pick locations are used. In most distribution centers, the picking function is responsible for over 50% of the labor force work and effective slotting is one of the most important contributing factors to reducing the labor required to pick orders.
There are many dynamics that need to be included in slotting strategy, such as an item's physical dimensions and weight, movement velocity, shipping format, packaging, product family, inventory value, temperature requirements, security requirements, hazardous materials characteristics, ergonomic considerations, customer requirements, order profiles, and so on. Each industry has specific fundamentals that form the basis of a distribution center's slotting strategy.
KOM International works with clients to develop an effective slotting strategy and to execute the final assignment of pick locations to items. The benefits of a well-managed slotting program are maximum warehouse labor productivity, reduced operator injuries, reduced product loss / spoilage / damage, improved quality of shipping pallets, reduced outbound pallets and shipping cartons, lower transportation costs, improved product security, reduced risk of exposure to hazardous accidents, improved order turnaround time, etc. Suffice to say that slotting strategy is one of the most important elements to a successfully run distribution center.
A numbering system is the assignment of an address location to each unique storage location in the distribution center. An effective warehouse numbering system should enable new associates to quickly find a storage location in the distribution center. A numbering system needs to be logical, sequential, predictable and easy to read. Equally important, a numbering system should be flexible enough to allow new aisles, racks, rack levels, etc., to be easily inserted into the layout without a major renumbering effort required. KOM International has developed simple numbering systems for various types of picking methodologies that achieve these objectives.
Picking methodology is the tactic(s) used to pick orders in the distribution center. The use of pick patterns such as X-Pick, Z-Pick and U-Pick are examples of different pick methodologies that influence how the numbering system will take shape. Other methodologies such as batch picking, cluster picking, pick-to-lite and pick-to-belt may influence the final layout and numbering system used within the facility.
KOM International works with your architectural and engineering firm to oversee all aspects of the facility design to ensure the efficiency of your distribution center. For example, architectural considerations include: lighting, placement of heaters and cooling units, integration of the sprinkler system with the racking, floor loading, dock levelers, doors, door seals, placement of electrical outlets, placement of fire escapes, placement and sizing of the battery charging area, safety equipment needs, and so on.
KOM International conducts on-site inspections of materials handling equipment to ensure that original specification requirements and facility layout plans are respected at all times. Most materials handling equipment suppliers outsource the equipment installation function to subcontractors and the quality of installation work is often sacrificed in the interests of "getting the job done quickly". To protect our client's interests, KOM International is on-site to approve the quality and accuracy of equipment installation.
The implementation of technical changes typically impacts how people work and results in the need for operator training. KOM International works with your management team to ensure that operators fully understand new operating procedures and system technologies. The changeover planning process is developed to minimize risk to the operation and to ensure that people experience hands-on training and support before "go-live".
The implementation of new software technologies in an industrial context requires special considerations and a different approach to software implementations in an office environment. In many warehouse and transportation operations, there are numerous human issues that need to be dealt with as technology is introduced. For example, operators may not speak the same language as supervisors, or they may be illiterate, or they may never have worked with a computer before, or they may resist the change of having a computer instruct them on what to do, or they may fear that the technology will eliminate their job.
KOM International provides staff resources, experienced in training people on the new technologies being introduced into industrial environments. The benefits of the software / hardware technology investment will only be realized when, and if, the associates use the technology as intended.