Custom Slick Rail Garment Rack
This particular customer, located in Kings Mountain, NC reached out to WNCMH because they needed to optimize their online order picking process. The products that were being processed at this facility came attached to hangars and placed in boxes on a carton flow rack system. This allowed our customer to replenish the products from the back of the system and pick orders from the front. Although the process was functional, the hangars were hooking onto the other products in the box causing multiple items to be pulled out at one time. As a result, the order pickers were spending extra time wrestling with the products which cost the company by decreasing its order picking efficiency.
The process started by scheduling an in-person visit by the local sales representative to thoroughly assess the situation, equipment, and the customer’s needs. We worked closely with the associates who would actually be using the equipment to understand their needs and get their input on what they felt would work best for them given their extended experience with the current, flawed, system. The biggest concern was eliminating the issues surrounding the product hangers to prevent any more product spillage and wasted time. The customer also wanted to keep the original product flow, replenishing from the back and picking from the front. To solve this issue, WNCMH needed to design a completely custom product that would allow the customer to pick individual online orders more efficiently.
After working with the customer and designing several options we decided to go with a system that would allow the customer to hang their product on a rail that angles down from the back to the front. The rails were designed to have a specific degree angle that would allow the products to always slide to the front of the system when replenished from the back. At each station, the front of the rails straightened out to be level with the floor allowing for easy pickability by the employees. Each rail was designed to include a nylon U channel topper that created a slick surface that the hangers would glide down. The front of each rail was outfitted with a tennis ball that covered any sharp edges preventing any cuts or scrapes that could occur when employees were quickly grabbing items from the system. As a result of the implementation of our solution, the customer’s efficiency increased by more than 20%. The payment structure for this customer’s employees was based on how much they could pick on their shifts. The increase in efficiency translated to increased pay for the order pickers while also allowing the company to decrease their costs. It was a win for all parties involved.