Reduce Travel Time for Picking and Other DC Processes
Labor is the single largest operating cost in most DCs, and travel often accounts for as much as 50% of labor time. WMS and other systems that direct picking use simplistic batching and sequencing rules that result in excessive travel. Using advanced mathematical models, Lucas has built a tool that can reduce travel time for warehouse processes by up to 70%, resulting in increased productivity and lower labor costs.
Dynamic Work Optimization (DWO) is an advanced modeling tool within Lucas Engage that dynamically maximizes pick density and optimizes travel paths in picking and other tasks. DWO uses order, inventory, and location information from WMS and other systems to create optimal assignments and direct users through those assignments in the most efficient sequence.
The batch optimization component of DWO creates optimized batches of orders and assigns them to users.
A typical WMS picking application might simplistically batch orders by grouping the first X orders in the work queue, without taking travel distance or other factors into account. In contrast, DWO batches orders by weighing a variety of complex factors, which are built into mathematical models. These factors include:
- Order priority
- Product locations
- Product dimensions
- Starting and ending points
- Potential travel path
- User permissions
The images below demonstrate the difference between the typical, first in, first out (FIFO) batching method, and the batching done by Lucas DWO.
Batch optimization reduces travel time by 15-30%.
Once batches are created, DWO quickly determines an optimized path for the user to take through the warehouse as they complete the batched orders. DWO path optimization uses several complex algorithms in conjunction with other factors to determine an optimized path. Factors may include:
- Travel distance
- Zone sequencing
- User start/end points
- Cost of moves (e.g., turning around)
- Directional aisle restrictions
As the picker is moving through the assignment, DWO can dynamically alter the path to account for variable changes (e.g., the user indicates next aisle is congested).
The short simulation video below shows intelligent paths directed by Lucas DWO, including the comparison (in the bottom right) to the travel required to make the same picks in warehouse sequence.
Path optimization reduces travel time by 15-40%.
Dynamic Work Optimization Demo
Interested in learning more about Dynamic Work Optimization and how it might reduce travel in your warehouse? Fill out the form below to request a demo of our DWO simulation and speak directly with someone on the Lucas team.