How to make your warehouse more efficient by improving the layout – and other things too.
If your business entails shipping or selling tangible products from a warehouse to your clients, you will be continually assessing the efficiency of your warehouse processes.
Increased efficiency in your warehouse operations will directly impact on your profits.
Here are 5 ways of making your warehouse operations more efficient:
Instead of expanding your warehouse, think of how you can optimize on vertical space. Incorporating taller storage units and using the correct equipment to carry and store items and materials can assist you to pack more in the same section.
Additionally, consider the kind of shelving used in your warehouse. Avoid storing small packages on pallet racks as this causes wastage of space and you can easily misplace items.
If your warehouse has items which are space wasters, for instance old equipment that you no longer use, remove them to make extra space. if it's possible, you can sell them at a discount or even donate them.
Installing a warehouse management system (WMS) will give your business increased inventory visibility and enhanced efficiency by ensuring better and more accurate delivery of customer orders.
A good WMS will minimize expedited orders and boost the ability of employees to easily pick and ship items. It can provide automated lists that can be sent to electronic devices, which can help to eradicate mistakes and minimize wastage of time and paper.
Old and malfunctioning equipment can instantly slow down your warehouse operations. It can result in pulling out some of your staff off their jobs to fix the equipment.
This will have a negative effect on the order processes, and in worst case scenarios they can grind to a halt. You therefore need to create a maintenance schedule for your equipment, preferably during off times.
Any faulty equipment should be withdrawn from the main warehouse to be repaired. It can then be returned promptly to the main floor.
If you find that you are constantly repairing old equipment, it's time to buy and upgrade. Try with new gravity conveyor.
If you have a spacious warehouse, it is inefficient to have packers and pickers running up and down the aisles throughout the day. They will most likely start asking for time off because of medical complaints such as blisters on their feet.
In this regard, it's advisable to assign a particular task or area to each warehouse staff. For example, one person could make boxes and pack items and a different person could be weighing and arranging them according to sizes in readiness for shipping.
A messy and unorganized warehouse can result in sending out an order late, which can be costly to your business. You need to allocate a specific time in a week or month to clean your warehouse.
This can translate to tremendous improvement in efficiency. A clean warehouse enables faster movement of staff - which allows work to flow seamlessly.