Warehouses play a key role in the supply chain. A lean, efficient warehouse keeps businesses running efficiently; therefore, warehouse organization can make or break a business’ bottom line.
1. Keep your warehouse clean. Allocating an hour or two per week, or even per month, to cleaning the warehouse can lead to amazing improvement in your efficiency. You never know what missing or misplaced orders you might find. Also, a clean warehouse means employees can move around more quickly and get things done easier. It’s just common sense.
2. Reduce clutter. An unorganized or messy warehouse indicates to visitors, suppliers, and staff that efficiency is lacking. It might even communicate that potential revenue is being lost, warehouse staff members are overwhelmed, or even that company morale is suffering.
3. Adopt lean inventory practices. Maintaining a lean inventory means that you only keep around what you actually need and nothing more. This gives your workers fewer products to sift through when organizing freight, completing order fulfillment services, and more. Try reducing your safety stocks, if possible, or see if you can get your suppliers to deliver smaller loads on a more frequent basis.
4. Organize for safety. When it comes down to it, safety is priority when it comes to a warehouse – after safety, you can think about efficiency. The last thing you want to do is put your warehouse workers in danger – just to boost your profit margins. When it comes down to it, a safe warehouse is an efficient warehouse.
5. Assess Shelf and Space Utilization. When trying to look for ways to improve the efficiency of your warehouse, a good plan is to understand the way that shelves and space are being utilized. The placement of shelves and containers, along with the traffic patterns and total design of the building ultimately affects the ability for you to utilize any space available.
6. Customize organization based on your industry. Every organization system should be customized for a business’s specific industry. Sometimes multiple items will be shipped at the same time to the same destination; keeping all of those items in the same area [helps] all employees quickly locate their entire shipment and load it on the truck. On the other hand, if individual packages need to be sent out to different destinations try out different organizational systems to find what works best for your operation.
7. Reduce the amount of shipping containers. Minimizing the number of shipping containers used in the warehouse seems like a small step in the process to streamline your operations, though it is an important one to increase staff productivity. You may think that having several different sizes and shapes for shipping containers can eliminate waste, but it can also slow down the workers who have to pick and choose which containers will be the right size for certain products.
8. Keep track of inventory error rates. Even in the most efficient and organized warehouse, pick and pack errors will be made from time to time. Keeping track of what kinds of mistakes are being made, and how often, can provide key insights into areas where there might be room for improvement.
These are just some of the great tips you can use to make your entire warehouse run better and more cost-effectively.
Fore more information on how we can help improve your warehousing business, contact us at 010 595 4934.4