CHAOTIC STORAGE is a technical term from logistics; it enables optimisation in the use of storage space because no unique space is assigned to the materials or products. Free storage spaces are occupied by the next material to be stored. Used correctly, CHAOTIC STORAGE provides a highly practicable software-supported method that saves time and significantly improves the allocation of storage space. All goods are digitally recorded and labelled by an inventory management system. In this way, those responsible know at all times exactly where a requested item is stored and in which number and quantity.
In chaotic or dynamic storage, the individual items do not have a fixed location, as they do in orderly storage. New deliveries of goods are distributed to free storage areas where sufficient storage capacity is available. Conversely, this means that as long as there is space, something can always be stored in CHAOTIC STORAGE.
The CHAOTIC STORAGE method is particularly promising for a product with a very high product turnover, as there is no precise, predictable sales planning here and the individual pieces are sometimes stored for longer or even shorter periods until they are sold or utilised. Large mail order companies and online retailers ship millions of items every day and benefit from the CHAOTIC STORAGE system. All products are barcoded upon delivery to the shipping warehouse and stored using scanners, then robots search for a suitable free space.
The advantages of chaotic warehousing are not always immediately obvious. Does it really make sense to store individual items chaotically? - Yes. The warehouse can be stocked and transported much faster and in a time-saving manner. Empty storage rooms and every available space are utilised to the maximum. Order pickers who handle customer orders and purchasing processes do not need any in-depth warehouse knowledge because all data is recorded in the system and can be retrieved digitally. This also shortens the training periods for new employees. Even in the event of a so-called aisle disruption, it is always possible to find and pick parts of the same goods at a different storage location. This "mixed storage" also optimises travel routes because high-turnover goods can be stored at the warehouse exits.
In addition to the many advantages, there are also some disadvantages: A prerequisite for CHAOTIC STORAGE is the need for a powerful and reliable EDP system - and if this should fail, the problems in processing quickly take on greater proportions. Quantities of goods can also be lost due to recording and input errors or due to storage in the wrong place. Not all products, such as hazardous materials, are suitable for chaotic storage.
Companies that want to use CHAOTIC STORAGE should focus on reliable and certified merchandise management software, ideally paired with the associated hardware such as barcode scanners. When considering this in advance, it should be borne in mind that, for example, certain products should not be stored on high shelves and certain items that are in frequent demand are generally stored in accessible locations. A thorough introduction and comprehensive training of all employees in handling, workflow and technical processes enables the utilisation of all storage capacities in the long run.