Replenishment – the often forgotten stepchild

When people talk about automation, they usually talk about increasing productivity, especially picking performance. Person to goods often becomes goods to person. Walking times are reduced. People often talk about whether a technology is “profitable” or not, companies ask themselves which “technology” is the right one for future logistics. But the fact is: a technology alone can never be economical or uneconomical! It is always the conceptual integration of the technology, usually a combination of different processes and systems, that determines the economic efficiency of a logistics operation. And not infrequently the considerations – even when planning automation technology – are too superficial. This quickly becomes clear if one considers the extreme case: Pick 1 part, add 1 part from stock. With this approach, it quickly becomes clear that you could just as well pick from the reserve location. But is attention always paid to the ratio of the replenishment quantum to the picking quantum? Is the ideal quantity replenished in a well-organised manner?