A challenge for me at work

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#1 17 December, 2013 - 19:25
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Joined: 3 years 6 months ago

A challenge for me at work


I use techniques for remembering numbers and names but I wish I had a way to remember the following- Sometimes I help unloading the truck where I work. We stretch out a roller conveyor for about forty feet between bays into which the boxes are placed on pallets. Each box has a dept. or bay number on a label. So you grab the box and take it to the corresponding bay. Wouldn't it be easy if the first bay was number one then two etc. but no not even close. I think the first bay on the east side is holds boxes for departments 17 and 74. In the second bay is one or two or even three dept. numbers. This goes on for maybe a dozen or more bays on each side of the conveyor. Like I said in no numerical order and in addition for a few bays but not all there are also signs saying pets or toys or automotive etc. And often but not always there is a picture or label on the box so you know it's toys or for pets and so on. So that helps. Most bays have two or three dept. numbers but some have only one and some have 6 or 8. If that job is your regular daily thing then they get pretty fast at it but often there are new people or fill ins like me who don't know the numbers well or at all. And of course its go go go-they want the truck or trucks unloaded fast and it will take at least 90 minutes to do one. It would be so much easier if I had a way to 'quickly' know which bay was for which dept or box number but I don't see a way to do that. I then often have to look up at the signs or even put the box down and take another. After a half hour I begin to remember- sort of a few of the bay numbers but I can forget easily. I don't think it's practical to associate images like a pencil for a number one and a swan for two etc. It's not fast enough. I thought about drawing a map just to review but I don't think that would help much. It would be just brute force memorizing without a method. Just thought: if two numbers were 17 and 76 I could remember the revolutionary war or if a number was 23 that would be my day of birth. Maybe a little here and a little there technique-I know the very end bays are 20 and 22-I just remember it somehow but there are many more.

6 January, 2014 - 07:32
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Joined: 3 years 5 months ago

I thought someone better than me would come in on this one!
If you can solve this then you could be a company hero. Employee of the month at least!
Do you have a systems department that sort out stuff like this? Only it sounds to me that someone has made a right mess of this. Or maybe it just slowly degraded from a workable system to a shambles. Right?
Wouldn't it be great if the actual bay location was on the label? ...and the bay locations were clearly marked A B etc.
Do you have a warehouse manager who can sort this?
How many actual bays are there?
I'm sure you could come up with a memory system that would link department to actual bay, but heck, should you need to do this? Shouldn't the system tell you where to put stuff. I don't suppose you're using bar code scanners but if you were then the computer could be made to give you the bay. Could the supplier be persuaded to put the bay location on the label?
Big question - Do the same departments always go to the same bays, or do they get changed?

If I'm completely off base, let me know. But this is more or less what I gleaned from your description.

6 January, 2014 - 08:17
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Joined: 4 years 6 months ago

Easy!!

Make a 100-object image list, and place the corresponding images on the loading docks, and have them interact with an item representative of the type. A good representative item would be one that you actually have loaded before. That'll be fairly easy to remember because it really happened, so when you try to remember where a kind of item goes, think of the representative item and remember that you linked it to the image of the number of the dock. Its location should just come to mind. If you need to know what kind of item goes into a bay of a specific number, as well as where that bay is, just do the opposite.

It does take some time to create and learn your images, but if you knew a 100-object list really well, this task would be far easier to do than you might have expected.

7 January, 2014 - 07:23
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Joined: 3 years 6 months ago

It is a big mess/don't know why it can't be in numerical order. No point in asking for a change because the people in that dept. full time know the numbers and where the boxes go. They do it everyday and often just know by the contents of the box which bay it goes to and maybe that's the best way to know it. But then many of the boxes have no picture but only the dept/bay number on the label. It's the fill in workers like me that have a problem. Big question - Do the same departments always go to the same bays? Yes. There are maybe 20 bays, 10 on each side of the roller conveyor. Each bay can have from one to several two digit numbers. Each box coming off the truck has a number on the label that is the bay number. It's the same old S%^%^. The company/all companies put up this face of having it all nice and under control but in reality it's far from that. This is a big Walmart store. Things get done but it's by the ones who have been there a long time. Often the boxes and pallets are piled up so closely that you can't get out of the room without climbing over them like a mountain goat-a far cry from the detailed corporate safety guidlines the keep in your face. Dangerous and difficult unless you're an agile 20 year old. It's so dark in places you can easily trip over a pallet and some have but don't let a manager see you walk on one. Thx for your replies. I don't quite understand the other reply/seems a little too complex and ultimately slow but maybe not.

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