Operational Analysis and Process Design

Before we undertake any project, we take the time to understand your operations, technical requirements, and business needs, and we work with you to identify process improvement possibilities in your facility. From the outset, we strive to develop a partnership with your operations and IT personnel, the people who have the inside knowledge and expertise about your business and operations.

Operations Assessment

Our operations assessment helps identify process improvement possibilities and the potential efficiency and accuracy gains in your facility. The assessment is conducted by our process experts, who will spend time at your facility, walking through your current processes, observing your team, and discussing with you different ways in which a warehouse optimization solution may help you achieve significant process improvements.

Engineering Study

For companies who wish to move forward and develop a detailed functional design for a Lucas warehouse optimization solution tailored to their operations, Lucas will conduct an engineering study.

The goal of the engineering study is to define an initial business process design for your system and to provide you with the information needed to estimate the potential accuracy, efficiency and other improvements you may achieve in your facility. As part of this step the Lucas team will document your current processes, systems, and business needs.
To ensure continuity from the engineering study to implementation, a Lucas Project Manager and/or Technical Team Lead will be a key member of the team
  1. A team of Lucas specialists will spend two days onsite to study your operation, observing and talking with your associates, and reviewing your current infrastructure and systems.
  2. We will document and review the workflow and paper flow of your current applications, and spend time reviewing your IT systems and data flows in order to identify initial system integration requirements.
  3. Lucas will document your current processes, develop preliminary functional requirements for a Lucas solution, develop a preliminary user process flow, determine the appropriate method of interfacing to existing systems, and develop a preliminary implementation schedule.

Process Optimizations

As part of the engineering study we will explore new processes with your team to determine if there are ways to reengineer your processes to achieve dramatic productivity and accuracy gains in your DC.

For DCs with a large number of slow-moving items and low pick density, we may suggest a two-stage pick process in which slow moving items are picked in a batch and merged with other orders. This process improves pick density, reduces travel and increases productivity. Learn more about two stage picking →
For DCs that have installed high velocity pick modules for their fastest-moving products (products are typically packed densely in flow racks with a conveyor running in front of the shelves). Order picking bucket brigades are a way of organizing workers and orchestrating work in a warehouse pick module. The bucket brigade process balances workflow and distributes work evenly amongst the pickers, maximizing productivity and throughput. Learn more about bucket brigades →
Batch picking and other operations that use carts and other mobile equipment may need to consider changing their cart configurations to enable optimized batches. Creation of optimal batch sizes significantly eliminates travel time, increasing productivity.
For DCs that employ post-pick QC/Audit to ensure out-the-door accuracy, Lucas may suggest changes in how you prioritize and conduct audits to improve the effectiveness of audits while simultaneously reducing audit costs. Learn more about parameter-based auditing →
Rather than evaluating picking and other processes in isolation, our team will consider ways to combine and/or interleave multiple tasks in a single workflow to increase overall efficiency. For example, we may suggest allowing pickers to replenish empty pick slots, or eliminating a post-pick serial number capture step in pack-out by including serial number capture at the point of pick.
For DCs picking larger orders by zone, it is typically more efficient to consolidate the items for the order after picking across all zones (pick and merge). Follow the leader staging can be used to consolidate orders without requiring any changes to your host system or warehouse management system. Learn more about follow the leader staging →

What’s Next?

Once we’ve evaluated the potential processes and technologies available and decided to move forward with implementing a warehouse optimization solution, the next step is system implementation.