5 Tips for a More Efficient Warehouse
Just like any part of your business, your warehouse can be fine-tuned to increase efficiency, and the efficiency of your warehouse directly affects your bottom line. We’ve put together 5 tips to help you improve your daily warehouse operations so that less time and effort are wasted.
1. Organization, Organization, Organization
Not surprisingly, the single most important aspect of running an efficient warehouse is organization. Your warehouse’s organization is vital to your daily operations running smoothly and efficiently. You may even want to seek professional advice on warehouse layout and design. Your facility should be properly divided into sections based on product type, and the layout should be easily understood by and accessible to your warehouse employees.
Additionally, a top-down system of data management can greatly ease many warehouse burdens. For example, an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system can give your organization a finger on the pulse of your warehouse’s inventory and efficiency.
2. Selective Automation
Many warehouses are using automation techniques in their daily operations. You should be aware that automation can be very effective in the right context, but it is not the end-all, be-all of warehouse efficiency. It should be implemented selectively and strategically to maximize both efficiency and return on investment. Take the time to understand how your warehouse’s workflow actually works and pinpoint the areas where automation can make the biggest impact with a reasonable investment.
3. Labor Management System (LMS)
The use of labor management systems has been on the rise in warehouses seeking maximum efficiency in recent years. That’s because they work! A good LMS can help you reduce labor costs and still decrease employee turnover by rewarding safety, quality, and efficiency. You can define standards for employee performance that can be objectively measured by the LMS in order to optimize productivity. An LMS can even be integrated into mobile devices, allowing supervisors to reward or coach employees in real time.
4. Stock Replenishment
Easy, fast, and consistent stock replenishment should be a priority in any efficient warehouse setup. Utilizing setups that allow you to easily get inventory onto and off of your stacks is key to improving your stock replenishment efforts. If your warehouse uses a last-in/first-out inventory pallet rotation, drive-in and drive-through racking can greatly increase efficiency. You can store up to 75% more pallets in the same space as with selectable racks.
However, if your warehouse needs to use a first-in/first-out (FIFO) inventory pallet rotation, pallet flow racking is exactly what you need. A pallet flow rack uses gravity and heavy-duty skate wheels on sloped shelves to allow pallet loads to flow forward for picking.
5. Consistent Training
You should always keep your employees trained on new processes, new technologies, and new safety procedures as they are implemented. Your current employees and new-hires probably require more training than you might think in order to ensure that they are aware of your best practices and company goals. Utilizing training to align your employees with your company goals is sure to make your warehouse more efficient.