As our supply chains become increasingly complex, manufacturers and other companies that sell products with multiple parts often find that they need solutions to help improve efficiency in the kitting and consolidation processes. Whether you use a 3PL provider or you do it with your own staff, adding kitting and consolidation software can help your assembly workers become more efficient and limit customer complaints from incomplete kits, missing parts, or slow delivery times. Here are three reasons you should be using kitting and consolidation software in your warehouses.
1: Maximize Space
Using kitting services to keep component inventory together can significantly reduce the amount of space you need to devote to storing parts, packaging, trash, and other items that are part of the overall manufacturing process—all things that are antithetical to good Lean manufacturing processes. As you grow, you don’t want to have to take up valuable warehouse space in your facility to keep all these items onsite, which can be costly, especially if you have to add more warehouse facilities or undertake other capital-intensive projects to house these goods.
2: Improve Productivity
Getting pre-sorted and pre-organized kits that include all of your parts delivered just-in-time saves time and effort, minimizing labor costs. Whether you use kitting services before items arrive in your facility to speed up the work of your own team, or you use them to ship items to your own B2B customers, it helps move work through the process quicker so teams don’t have to spend time hunting down parts, pulling them, and logging them to complete their own piece of a manufacturing or assembly process.
Materials arrive for each member of a team as they are needed, without storing or stocking massive amounts of materials in various parts of your manufacturing facility. It also helps you communicate your needs to suppliers so you have all the parts as you need them, with no delays, but also without a lot of extra time in advance that you would have to store the items in your own facilities.
3: Keep Components Stocked
One of the most important parts of a Lean manufacturing process is materials flow. Operationally, your leadership team must be able to visualize the flow of materials from start to finish to be able to provide each team member with the correct items at the appropriate time. Kitting and consolidation software provides real-time reporting and information to keep all the parts of your manufacturing process moving and limiting line stops or other productivity killers.