The frequency at which an item sells can have a huge impact on operations throughout an entire warehouse.

Some of it will probably seem obvious at first—fast-moving items need to be stored somewhere more convenient, for instance—but there’s actually a lot of ways that products can be reorganized based on how often they’re sold, and these can have a huge positive impact on operations overall.

If you’re looking for a more effective way to store products, or just a better way to access the items you need more frequently, rearranging them by sales frequency might just be the way to go. The most common method of reorganizing SKUs by sales volume is to review your monthly sales figures, and then breaking them down into four categories:

 

  • “A” SKUs: A SKUs are the fastest-moving items you have. No matter what they are or how they’re sold, these SKUs will represent the items that either sell highest, sell most consistently (meaning they’re not affected by issues of seasonality), or some combination of both. These will generally be less than 20% of your stock (as not every SKU can be a prime mover, no matter how hard we may try) but could represent up to 80% of your total picks.
  • “B” SKUs: As you can probably imagine by their placement, B-level SKUs are items that perform solidly but not quiet to the degree of A-level SKUs. Items like this move consistently through the year without the same levels of restocking and picking, and should still be given a focus to ensure they continue moving with the same velocity.
  • “C” SKUs: Rather than simply ranking them by sales, C SKUs are typically considered to be speciality or seasonal items. These products may only be stored for a specific subset or demographic of customer (and may not reflect the items you typically store) and generally represent slower pick volumes.
  • “D” SKUs: Finally, everything that doesn’t meet the first three categories needs to be moved into “D” SKUs. Affectionately referred to as “dogs” in many warehouses and fulfillment centers, these SKUs could consist of discontinued items, excess inventory, or just anything that sells extremely rarely.

 

So, how do you sort these things out? We’re glad you asked:

 

  • A-level SKUs need to be stored in areas and on shelving types that are easily accessible and offer faster product movement; in many cases A items are kept on gravity flow racks to help them move through the warehouse more effectively and cut down on wasted effort and unnecessary touches.
  • For B SKUs, similar care should be taken to ensure accessibility—gravity racks can come in handy here if you have the space, but if not you should set up a dedicated area for these products using open, accessible wire shelves to help employees get to them more quickly.
  • C SKUs should have a greater focus on organization instead of accessibility, as they won’t be selling through as quickly and shouldn’t get in the way of other work. Depending on their size and density, C-level items should be kept on pallet racks or bulk storage racks to keep them safely organized and out of the way of other products to reduce clutter.
  • Finally, D-level items need to be organized away from the faster-moving products to help your workers stay productive and focused on the items they need to be moving. If you have access to a carousel or ASRS, these could be useful for keeping slow products out of the way, but otherwise consider resigning them to bigger storage sections away from the faster-selling items.

Leave a Reply