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With virtually unlimited options for customising location use and storage requirements, SEQOS provides powerful control of this critical aspect of warehouse operation.

The SEQOS Space Utilisation and Product Throughput reports assist management with planning, monitoring and updating warehouse location layout to provide optimum efficiency.

Best Use of Available Space

Storing stock in the least space is the prime essential rule for controlling storage costs.

Wastage resulting from partly-filled stock storage locations can be reduced by mixing different products or stock with different attributes at locations. The SEQOS configurable rules allow or disallow mixing, depending on type of product and product attributes, such as mixing (or prohibiting) ranges of expiry dates, receive dates, batches, lots, style-colour-size, and many other product types and attributes.

Location dimensions (usable size) and maximum weight capacity permitted for storing products in a location, location column or location block may be configured to prevent over-filling the locations.

To ensure best use of locations, the configurable rules are applied by SEQOS whenever stock is put away or relocated. The SEQOS “Combine Locations Recommendation” report uses the warehouse’s own specific rules to suggest various ways that current stock can be relocated to free-up locations.

Access to locations may be assigned for electric forklift vehicles, gas operated forklifts, reach trucks, hand pallet jacks and any other handling equipment configured in the warehouse. When operators log into RF Terminals they are required to nominate the type of equipment they are using. SEQOS then automatically assigns to the operator tasks and stock movements applicable only to that type of equipment.

Efficient Use of Locations

Warehouse layout specifically designed for each particular warehouse can significantly reduce operating costs by minimising travel times for operation personnel.

Slotting the warehouse stock of the fastest-moving products near the despatch area reduces the total time for the day’s picking. SEQOS analyses product throughput to classify the products, typically ABC Inventory Classification, but can extend to any number of classifications.

The fastest-moving products are automatically assigned pickfaces or locations near the despatch area, with the slowest-moving products are located furthest from the despatch area. (This assignment may be overridden due to specific storage requirements). The fast-moving products may span multiple physical picking locations with total replenishment levels configured for the spanned locations or separate replenishment levels for each individual location.

The pick path is configured for the optimal route.

When a pallet of bulk product is received, SEQOS stores that pallet at a bulk location as close as possible to the pickface for that product, so that there is minimal movement for a subsequent replenishment action.

SEQOS is so easy to use that changed stock storage requirements of the warehouse to introduce new products or to eliminate products no longer stocked, can be easily achieved.

Small Warehouse with Many Locations

Setting up the most storage locations in the least physical space is achieved by reducing the number of aisles or aisle widths and using the full height of the warehouse (minus the required distance from fire sprinklers).

Less Aisles

  • Drive-In Racking. The sequence in which pallets are stored in drive-in racking is remembered by SEQOS so that the pallets must be retrieved by last-in-first-out (LIFO) sequence. When stock is required that is not FIFO critical, SEQOS suggests the location requiring the least number of pallet movements.
  • Double Deep. This is the common term given to Drive-In Racking that is two pallets deep.
  • Pallet Flow Rack. Pallet flow rack works well in multiple-pallet environments of single SKUs. The primary advantage is the elimination of aisles, by allowing storage depths of three or more pallets. Pallets are loaded at the back of the flow rack. When a pallet is removed from the front of the flow rack, the pallets behind it slide down the rack to take its place.
  • Block stack. The maximum block stack height for each product is configured according to the crushability factor of the product. SEQOS counts the number of stacked pallets to prevent over-stacking the product. The sequence that the pallets are stacked is remembered by SEQOS so that pallets are unstacked in last-in-first-out (LIFO) sequence.

Use all available height

  • Narrow-Aisle Racking. These racked locations are typically much higher than standard racking that is accessed by a Reach-Truck. SEQOS recognises that special equipment is needed for traversing the narrow-aisle racking. Operators of regular forklifts are instructed by SEQOS to deliver pallets to staging locations next to the narrow-aisle racking. Narrow-aisle operators move the pallets from the staging location into the narrow-aisle racking, and move other pallets from the narrow-aisle racking to the staging locations to be subsequently moved by the regular fork lift operators.
  • ASRS (Automated Storage and Retrieval System). The SEQOS Automated Task Queue is interfaced with the ASRS equipment. Pallets that need to be moved into the ASRS or from the ASRS are automatically added to the queue where they are processed by the ASRS equipment.
  • Vertical carousels. The floor space for vertical carousels is relatively small compared to the number of different products that can be stored in the carousels. SEQOS utilises carousels as described in the topic “Productivity – Efficient Picking – Carousels”.
  • Mezzanine. Addition floors with shelves or racking are sometimes added. The locations on those floors may be assigned to a separate location zone. RF Terminals operators may login to a specific location zone to process transactions relating to that location zone only. Picks from multiple location zones may be split to separate pickers in each zone.

Space utilisation examples

Storage TypeAssumed HeightFloor UtilisationPallet spaces per m3
Block stack (four deep)3 pallets62%1.5
APR (reach truck)5 pallets36%1.5
Double Deep5 pallets47%2.0
Narrow-Aisle7 pallets44%2.6
AS/RS-Single Deep10 pallets48%4.0
Source: The Handbook of Logistics & Distribution Management. Rushton, Croucher, Baker.

Refrigeration, Dangerous Goods, Special Handling

Different types of products often have different storage and handling requirements.

Storage location zones may be configured for “types of product” or “product groups”. For example, frozen goods locations, refrigerated goods locations, and any other user-definable location zones. SEQOS ensures that stock is always stored in its correct storage location zone by matching the product storage attributes in the system's master product files.

Preventing storage of hazardous products in adjacent locations which may cause a chemical reaction is configurable by product in the location storage rules.

Instructions may be configured to automatically popup on the RF Terminal when special handling is required for specific products.

Orders with picks from different location zones may be automatically split by location zone so that each part of the order is picked separately.

Access to locations may be restricted to certain types of forklifts and other handling equipment. For example, only electric forklifts may be permitted into the refrigerated area.

Bonded Warehouse

Numerous safeguards can be configured in SEQOS to ensure that goods are not inadvertently released from the bonded area.

Labels applied to received stock may be configured to show sufficient detail for each item so that the stock is easily identified, including receiving details and the maximum time the stock is permitted to be held in the bonded warehouse. Scanning the stock label barcode ensures all transactions are precisely confirmed.

The detailed SEQOS audit trail shows all transactions in every available and relevant full detail so that stock is readily traced.

Locations may be configured for counting after every transaction (or number of transactions) to confirm that no stock is missing from the remaining stock held.

Access to location zones in the bonded warehouse is controlled. Only operators with the required authorisation in SEQOS may perform transactions in those nominated location zones.

Documents required by Customs may be scanned and attached to relevant stock records in SEQOS.