In the 2018 movie “Mary Poppins Returns,” the catchy new tune “Nowhere to Go But Up” proclaims that “as you fly over town, it gets harder to frown. And we’ll all hit the heights if we never look down.” To keep up with burgeoning stock, warehouse experts are “looking up” and strategizing storage solutions that deal with decreased high-moving SKUs and the challenges of “long tail” slow-moving products.
In addition to the proliferation of SKUs, the volumes being delivered to customers have drastically changed, says Darrell Dunham, president of Cirrus Tech Inc., Kearney, Neb. “In most cases, you can’t just order 15 of a slow-moving SKU at a time. You typically have to order a full pallet,” Dunham explains. “If you only need 15 of the product for the month, but you get a pallet of 75, that pallet is now needing to be stored, in most cases very inefficiently from how much space it takes to store. You can’t stack anything on top of it, you need to store it for five months and take it down and to replenish the pick location five to 10 times over the life of that pallet.