Product Slotting - Inventory Profiling

Product Slotting is defined as the intelligent location of product in a warehouse or distribution center for the purpose of optimizing material handling efficiency. Sometimes called inventory slotting, or profiling, it  identifies the most efficient placement for each item in a distribution center or warehouse. Since each instance is unique, product slotting depends on a variety of factors.

Benefits from good product slotting include:

Picking Productivity:

Travel time can often account for up to 60% of a picker’s daily activity. A good product slotting strategy can reduce travel time thereby reducing picking labor.

Efficient Replenishment

By sizing the pick face location based upon a standard unit of measure (case, pallet) for the product in question you can significantly reduce the labor required to replenish the location.

Work Balancing

By balancing activity across multiple pick zones you reduce congestion in the zones, improve material flow and reduce the total response time for a given order or batch of orders.

Load Building

To minimize product damage, heavy product is located at the beginning of the pick path ahead of crushable product. Product may also be located based on case size to facilitate pallet building.


Similar products are separated to minimize the opportunity for picking errors.


High velocity products are placed in a “golden zone” to reduce bending and reaching activity. Heavy or oversized items are placed on lower levels in the pick zone or placed in a separate zone where material handling equipment can be utilized.


By storing and picking product by family group you may be able reduce downstream sorting and consolidation activity. This is particularly important in a retail environment to facilitate efficient restocking at the stores.


The Importance of On-going Product Slotting Maintenance:

Operations managers typically do a good job of slotting their warehouse initially. Over time, however, customer demand changes, products come and go, and before long labor costs are way up, order fulfillment rates are way down and response times are impacting customer service.

It is important to continually re-slot the warehouse to keep it operating at maximum efficiency. Some clients re-slot their highest movers (typically also their most profitable products) on a daily basis.

We help smart companies slot inventory and products to achieve maximum efficiency. To learn more, contact CEI Logistics toll free 8:00-5:00 central, or via email at

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