“Order picking is one of the most costly activities in a typical warehouse”
Imagine this scenario: you are in the refrigerator aisle at the supermarket, buying orange juice. You hunt towards the back of the shelf and pick the bottles with the latest expiry date so they will keep longer. Yet at home, you are annoyed by that family member who simply grabs the first bottle of juice to hand, rather than the one they are “supposed” to use which expires first.
In perishable food products, large losses are incurred between farm and fork due to spoilage. That is why there has been an explosion of new technologies designed to keep the freshness and extend the quality of food. Although those technologies might be helpful, the most effective way to maximize shelf life is closer management of the supply chain to try to ensure the right product is delivered at the right time in the right condition. This process involves a strategic shift in warehouse operations from purely efficiency-driven order picking methods to pick products according to each specific customer’s needs and replenishment policies.
Older warehouse management systems were not designed with the functionality to manage variables such as shelf life and expiry date, they were primarily designed to reduce the cost of business operations. As a result, many have adopted first- in- first- out (FIFO) approach which is a logical choice for asset rotation. The problem is that this system assumes that all products arriving on a particular date have the same shelf life potential, which is not always the case. That is why a first-expired-first- out (FEFO) strategy, based on a data-driven approach, will pick products depending on their shelf life potential in relation to their end destination.
To learn more about why you should go from FIFO (first-in-first-out) to FEFO (first-expired-first-out) and how making this change can have a positive impact on your business request a free consultation.
Spotlight on Success
DEL SUR, Food and Beverage Distribution
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