If you operate a business that utilizes a warehouse, then you know how important it is that your company gets the most out of this space. An efficient warehouse means higher productivity rates and savings for your business.
But where do you start if you want to improve warehouse efficiency? Here are 5 tips to get you started as you review and overhaul your warehouse operations, processes, systems, and set-up.
Run an Audit of Your Warehouse
You can’t improve warehouse operations without running an audit, especially if you’ve never done one before. This means reviewing every aspect of the business that moves through the warehouse. At the heart of your audit, you should ask yourself if your current processes and procedures meet your company and client’s needs.
Don’t leave any stone unturned. Every aspect of your warehouse operations should be reviewed with a fine-tooth comb. These processes should be reviewed objectively so you can truly determine the strengths and weaknesses of your warehouse.
First, you’ll want to define the needs of your audit, as every business and its warehouse are different. Then, during the audit, you’ll want to count inventory, and analyze where it’s stored and how it’s organized. Don’t forget to talk to warehouse employees and review all operations.
These audits can be conducted by someone on your staff or an objective third party. Find more info here about hiring an expert third-party project manager for audits and other warehouse management.
Improve How Your Inventory Is Organized
Inventory management is integral to any successful warehouse. So, it’s important to regularly review how your inventory is organized, stored, and counted.
This should be done every few years, as your business grows and changes. What worked for your company when it launched, might not be productive for you 5 years down the road.
Over the years, you’ve likely added new products and variations, as well as increased your number of customers. Improving your inventory management will save you money and streamline your operations.
Simplify Warehouse Processes
Every single warehouse process should be reviewed and streamlined. This optimization will increase your staff productivity. This means fewer mistakes being made, reduced costs, and more money coming in.
Areas to look at include receiving inventory, putting it away, storage, picking items for shipping, packing them, and shipping. For instance, following proper receiving processes from the very beginning means your team will spot incorrect or damaged items before they make it into your inventory. Each one of these processes should be reviewed and optimized.
Find the Right Warehouse Management System
The warehouse management system software that your company uses directly impacts your productivity. Will standard software work for your company or do you require customization based on your specific operations?
Don’t forget to factor in your anticipated growth when you select a system for your company. You don’t want to lay out money for a system that you’ll have outgrown in just a couple of years.
As technology evolves, take a good look at the company making the software. How frequently do they update their platforms? Do their clients have access to these updates?
Invest in Your Team for a More Efficient Warehouse
If you want a more efficient warehouse, you need to invest in your team at all levels. If your employees feel supported and encouraged, they’re likely to be more invested in their job, working harder and looking for areas of improvement.
Support your managers and top employees by offering opportunities for advancement and additional training. Also, if they have suggestions about improving productivity and efficiency, listen to them.
Want to Improve Your business?
Now that you have some ideas for how to create a more efficient warehouse, check out our blog for other ideas on growing your business and your brand.
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