Blog April 9, 2024

Strategies for Effective Warehouse Slotting

By Marc Menard
April 4, 2024| 4 min read

Warehouse Mechanics - tips & tricks from an supply chain expert

In a typical warehouse, picking represents roughly 50% of all labor, with half of that time spent travelling from one location to another. An effective slotting strategy that reduces travel time while balancing ergonomics, picking speed, and capacity, can lead to major gains in total labor productivity for your facility.



Understanding warehouse slotting

Warehouse slotting is the systematic arrangement of inventory within a warehouse to enhance operational productivity. By assigning specific locations to each item, slotting aims to minimize picking and stocking times, reduce travel distances, and ultimately improve overall efficiency.

How do you plan a good warehouse slotting strategy?

Product Analysis

Begin by analyzing your inventory to understand its nature and demand patterns. This includes establishing product velocity groups using a demand-based ABC analysis and identifying the storage medium used to pick each product. Your goal at this stage is to identify the smallest slot possible for each SKU without creating congestion or need for excessive replenishments.

Family Grouping & Pick Line Sequencing

After conducting analysis and identifying the slot type and size for each SKU, you now group these items based on relevant properties or characteristics. Approaches to grouping can vary greatly from industry to industry, but generally you can group SKUs based on factors like whether they are stackable versus crushable or if they fall into certain customer-specific categories.

Once grouping is complete, you can now move on to sequencing. Sequencing is the design of how a pallet or tote gets built as picking occurs. At this stage, your product analysis and grouping is leveraged to establish individual rack profiles and design the slots for each SKU. The goal is to create a sequence that limits product damage, eliminates the need for re-palletizing, and construct pallets that are both driver and customer friendly. Here are a couple key considerations to keep in mind when determining sequencing:

  • Case heights to ensure proper ergonomics and safety.
  • Making heavy cases accessible to pickers.
  • Similar product segregation to avoid miss picks.

Setting the Pick Locations

After finalizing sequencing and rack profiles, the crucial step of setting pick locations follows. At this point, each rack on the pick line and each item being slotted have been assigned matching profiles, family, and priority numbers based on the set sequence. All that remains is combining them and voilà, we have a file ready to be imported into a WMS.

Why does warehouse slotting matter?

Implementing a well-thought-out slotting strategy offers several benefits:

  • Optimized Space: Maximize storage space utilization, leading to a smaller footprint.
  • Increased Safety: Ensure items are stored securely to prevent accidents and damage.
  • Reduced Labor Costs: Minimize travel distances and picking times, resulting in lower labor expenses.
  • Faster Picking Time: Improve productivity with organized inventory and fewer errors.

Conclusion: Marc’s pro tips for effective warehouse slotting

  1. Warehouse Layout: Design your warehouse layout to facilitate efficient movement and picking, paying special attention to ergonomic picking heights.
  2. SKU Velocity: Slot inventory is based on the speed that are picked or restocked.
  3. The Golden Zone: Identify prime storage locations for frequently accessed items.
  4. Dynamic Slotting: Regularly review and adapt your slotting strategy to accommodate changing SKU velocities and customer demands.
  5. Invest in a WMS: Utilize a Warehouse Management System to automate slotting processes and enhance efficiency across every aspect of your facility.

By following these best practices and staying proactive, you can transform your warehouse into a well-oiled machine, maximizing productivity and minimizing costs.

Reach out to the LIDD team to learn more about warehouse slotting and optimizing your warehouse operations.

Facility Implementations


Let’s build world-class infrastructure together.

Book a Consultation

Are you ready for logistics automation?

Take our readiness quiz to find out!

Begin Assessment