Running a warehouse takes organization and hard work. If your warehouse isn’t running like a well-oiled machine it can cost you time and money.
Here are some examples of ways to maintain and improve efficiency in a warehouse.
Utilize all available space
Space in a warehouse equates to money. Every square foot counts so useable space should not be wasted. Whilst it’s important to ensure that working areas are adequately sized and health and safety not compromised, it’s also important to use all available space. If using palleted products, pallet racking is a good choice because it focuses on storing stocks vertically rather than horizontally which uses lots of valuable floor space.
Many companies use multi-tiered systems. There are various options available online which include moveable walkways and stairs. You can create a bespoke design that suits your space creating as much room as possible for valuable stock.
Machinery is fundamental in any warehouse so it is essential to make sure you have the right products and enough machinery to maintain efficiency levels. It is just as important to ensure that machinery is looked after and regularly serviced.
If a forklift breaks down, for example, it could stop productivity in its tracks costing you time and money. If you require parts or labor for any of your warehouse machinery, Superior Industrial Products can help. Visit their website https://www.sip.net/parts-and-service/ to review their services and products.
Experienced and hard-working staff are crucial for efficiency in any warehouse. Make sure all members of staff are given the right training. They need to know how things are done, why things are done and what is expected in respect of timescales. Ongoing training should be offered. This ensures continuity and gives you peace of mind that things will be carried out to the standards expected.
Consideration should be given to implementing performance tracking and related bonuses. Targets will not only focus staff but will motivate them to work harder and exceed expectations. Key performance initiatives (KPI’s) are commonly used in business.
Benefits can be monetary or otherwise. Just make sure you clearly define these to staff in advance. Individual or team KPI’s can be put in place. This allows staff to focus not only on their achievements but gets them working as a team.
Inventory control and stock handling
To efficiently run any warehouse, you must have a handle on stock levels. Not only should you know what stock you are holding at any given time, you also need to know its value. It is important to ensure that you are replenishing goods in advance of demand whilst also ensuring that you don’t overstock.
Giving each product an aisle number and position will make it far easier for pickers to locate the items they require. Clearly label each aisle so it’s easily visible to all. Color-coded bins are another popular method for storing and managing stock.
Consider additional technology
Technology could save you time and money in the long run. It is important to calculate how long it will take for you to recoup the initial outlay through increased productivity. There is little point in spending tens of thousands on a system that you may not see the benefits of for twenty years. Make sure that whatever you are considering will make a fairly quick impact on profits and performance.
Many companies offer warehouse management software to help streamline your businesses and maximize profits. From accounting solutions to inventory management, warehouse management systems might be your answer to increased efficiency.
Packaging comes in all shapes and sizes. It not only needs to be the right size for your products but also needs to ensure that every item reaches its destination in one piece. Whilst you don’t want to be using large boxes for shipping small items, you also don’t want to be buying and storing hundreds of different options. It’s important to find a balance. Try and find products that are environmentally friendly where possible.
Keep your warehouse clean and tidy
Keeping your warehouse clean and tidy is fundamental to its efficiency. Make sure detailed guidelines are set and all staff are aware of what is expected. Aisles should be kept clear and be debris free. This will ensure that both machinery and employees can freely move back and forth without incident. Old packaging should be disposed of immediately and all floors and work stations should be kept clean. Health and safety is paramount.
Interesting related article: “What is a Warehouse?”