Reducing Damage and Missed Picks

By Scott Balthaser | August 30, 2022

Case Damage and Unsaleable Goods

Cases can be damaged from poor distribution processes and carelessness when being unloaded from trucks, put away, moved in the warehouse, picked, and loaded for shipment. Cases can also be damaged in transit and upon delivery. Aside from torn, dented, or crushed boxes, the products inside can become unsaleable from damage, resulting in costly claims and returns. The annual Unsaleable Benchmark Report sponsored by the Grocery Manufacturers Association calculates that food and beverage distributors lose approximately one percent of sales due to goods being unsaleable from damage or expired sell dates. Best performing companies keep claims under .2 percent. These percentages can vary according to the size and complexity of a distributor’s operations and by industry.

Less Case Damage on Pallets

Syntelic reduces case damage on pallets in picking, loading, transit, and delivery. Syntelic does this by building better pallets and minimizing rehandling.

Optimized Selection

Syntelic’s fully optimized load plans drive the order of outbound selection tasks. During implementation, we configure Syntelic to meet each customer’s unique business requirements. We set up product rules and instructions for selectors to prevent cases from being damaged on the pallet due to compression or improper stacking. For example, selectors can be told to “balloon” or shift lighter cases to a pallet’s top layers.

Mixed Pallet Rules and Variable Pallet Configurations

Syntelic is ideal for companies picking cases and assembling pallets that mix multiple product items. Our load plans can also manage variable-sized pallets, cylinders, totes, stackable trays, and carts. Since Syntelic maintains a database of all product dimensions to calculate precise road maps, we can also set up rules to mitigate the risk of product damage based on proximity, such as preventing liquids that might leak from being placed on top of dry goods or in the same tote. Syntelic can also prevent contamination by prohibiting chemicals from being palletized with food products.

No Re-Handling

Do your selectors ever bring more pallets to the loading dock than will fit in the trailer? When pallets are broken apart and re-packed at the loading dock, that means cases are handled a second time. This re-handling creates more chances for cases to become torn, dented, or crushed as they are moved around to get the load to fit. Syntelic’s load planning logic automatically match variable case volumes to trailer capacities-if any manual adjustments are needed, they happen electronically to the plan before cases are picked. Some operations using Syntelic eliminate staging altogether as pallets go from shrink wrapping to being loaded straight on the truck.

Then, as each order comes off the truck, drivers have an accurate load diagram in hand, so they are less likely to move cases around needlessly, causing less damage.

Tighter, More Stable Loads

Many distribution operations load trailers at less than full capacity (sometimes as little as 70%). They do this because they are trying to avoid dealing with overflow pallets on the loading dock. Typically, the default full pallet size as defined (in cubes) out of a WMS does not utilize trailer space efficiently. Syntelic dynamically adapts to your load volumes on every single route, and its accuracy in utilizing trailer volumes results in taller, tighter loads. After optimizing a truckload for the stop sequence, Syntelic balances axle- weights, averaging out pallet heights to further stabilize pallets and help prevent cases from shifting in transit.

Fewer Missed Picks

Accurate picking reduces missed picks and over-picks that impact the bottom line, especially for high-volume, low margins-per-case warehouse operations. Missed picks can result in lost sales when store shelves remain empty, write-offs for perishable goods, customer dissatisfaction, and administrative costs. Additional costs are incurred in transportation and labor for returned and reshipped goods.

Better Visibility

With Syntelic, you will gain more visibility across your entire outbound warehouse operations including your true cost to deliver goods. Syntelic features a powerful dashboard and scorecard features that let you quickly and easily compare and contrast worker performance. You can manage to exceptions, finding your best performers and your worst performers. By using this information to communicate with employees and create performance incentives, you can achieve continuous process improvements. Syntelic’s analytics and drilldown functions let you find and eliminate the causes of excessive Over Shorts and Damage (OS&D).

By its design, Syntelic does not limit you to static reports. Rather, we help you set up the views you need, and empower you to create new views and your own data calculations using easy-to-use tools along with interactive charts and graphs.

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