A business is only as strong as its weakest link. Regardless of how many clients you manage to bring in, if your warehouse cannot expedite shipments in time, you’ll be losing clients faster than you think. People value their time more than anything else, which is why they rely on companies that can ship their products just-in-time.
Getting merchandise to the client as fast as possible is one of the major reasons why Amazon was able to take the retail industry by storm and climb right to the top. Albeit not a practical necessity, the appeal of next day delivery made their offer incredibly hard to refuse.
Here’s a list of simple steps you can take to better organize your warehouse:
Warehouse Management Systems
Warehouse Management Systems may not be the traditional way of doing things, but, for nearly two decades now, they’ve been of invaluable help. The advent of the microprocessor and computers allowed us to automatize a lot of exhausting tasks that are boring, yet necessary, such as inventory, space, and process management.
A great WMS will give suggestions as to how your layout should be planned, which goods ought to go where, sample schedules for workers, notify everyone of priority orders, and much, much more. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the value your business can generate with the help of these computer applications.
Anyone who is in the business of delivering goods knows that picking is the single most time- consuming activity. In fact, statistics show that over half of warehouse labor time is spent walking. Now, imagine what you can do if the facility is organized in such a manner so as to reduce travel time to a bare minimum.
You don’t need a system to see which are the most active picking locations or the best-selling items. Get these as close as you can to the picking workflow in the priority indicated by your ABC analysis.
If It’s In, It Gets a Label
Everyone benefits from a strict labelling system, regardless of warehouse size. If you want to hasten this process as much as possible, RFID barcodes can make for easy scanning and consistent identification. Nobody has to keep in mind what went where and then spend precious time looking for it. The WMS can tell them exactly where to look.
You might also want to consider labelling your racks, containers, and other important assets with stickers or signs, as needed. This will help your workers learn the layout of the space much faster, which will, in turn, minimize the time they spend travelling or looking for items. Whenever something is needed, a barcode or SKU can instantly tell where you ought to look for it.
Ergonomic warehouse equipment is designed and manufactured in such a way so as to help those who use it be as comfortable as possible, while also keeping them safe from injury. As a warehouse manager, you can only do so much, because the operations themselves and the effectiveness with which they are carried out depend on your employees.
Keeping employees happy, stress-free, and relaxed will boost their productivity and motivation. In addition, ergonomic machinery often reduces a company’s liability, should something happen. Of course, some of these products might cost a bit more, but the value they will yield by keeping your staff motivated and safe is outstanding.
Not every item you receive or have to store comes in a pallet. Even if this is the case, you’ll certainly have plenty of equipment that must be stored when not used. For those things you can’t exactly store on pallet racks, wire containers are a perfect way to keep them together.
One of the most noteworthy advantages of wire containers is that they can collapse when not needed, which allows you to use that space for your daily operations. Unlike regular shelves, wire containers reduce the possibility of your merchandise getting damaged.
In addition, they can handle up to 4,000 lbs. of a load, depending on the system you acquire. Stackable, durable, and lightweight, they are the perfect solutions for those things you just don’t know where to put.
At the end of the day, every single one of these steps will help you get closer and closer to a clean, organized warehouse. As we have mentioned in the beginning, this will help you reduce overheads, optimize warehousing processes, and keep your clients happy.