PART 1: Top tips for improving warehouse operations
When it comes to operating a warehouse, many details come into play: Equipment, space maximization, etc. But at its core, improving and maintaining a smooth warehouse operation helps a business keep a competitive edge. An efficient warehouse operation means fewer mistakes are made and time and space are maximized, resulting in lower costs overall, happier employees, and happy customers. Cut down on mistakes and better service customers with our top tips for improving your business warehouse operation.
Keep the warehouse clean and organized
Your layout should be logical and everything should have its own place. The aisles should be wide enough for easy movement and flow, and one-way lanes should be prioritized and implemented whenever possible for increased efficiency. High-demand items need to be placed in easily accessible locations. Specific locations for each product should be assigned based on factors like popularity and frequency of picking. Implementing a color-coded system with labels to categorize different types of products, zones, and storage areas. This will make it easier for staff to identify and locate items. We recommend getting your layout reviewed and inspected regularly, adjusting as needed.
Use labels and bins
Using labels and bins can dramatically improve the organization of your warehouse. They also help maintain precise inventory records by ensuring items are stored in their designated location. Bin labeling also saves employees time while searching and picking products, speeding up order fulfillment and improving overall efficiency. A clear bin system also minimizes errors and creates a structured system and environment.
Along with each storage area being labeled, shelves, racks, pallets, bins, and other storage units should be labeled. The labeling system should be consistent and clear and can range from standard labels to a barcode and/or digital SKU system. In addition, implementing technology such as barcoding, RFID, or GPS to track the movement of goods within the warehouse enhances accuracy in data collection and allows for more precise tracking of key metrics. Learn more about Western Storage and Handling’s storage systems >>
Track performance indicators
Tracking performance indicators in your business warehouse operation is essential for assessing efficiency, identifying areas for improvement, and making data-driven decisions. At WSH, we use a business’s performance indicator data to guide inventory reorganization and flow processes, resulting in a warehouse operations that are as strategic as they are efficient.
Here are a few tips for tracking performance indicators at your warehouse:
Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify the specific metrics that align with your warehouse goals and overall business objectives. Common warehouse KPIs include order fulfillment time, accuracy rates, inventory turnover, picking and packing productivity, and on-time deliveries.
Establish Benchmarks: Set benchmark values for each KPI based on historical data, industry standards, or business goals. Benchmarks serve as a reference point to evaluate performance and determine whether targets are being met. After benchmarks are set, it’s important to establish a routine for collecting and updating performance data. This may involve daily, weekly, or monthly data collection, depending on the nature of the metrics being tracked.
Implement a Warehouse Management System (WMS): Invest in a WMS that can automate data collection and provide real-time visibility into key metrics. A WMS can track inventory movements, order statuses, and other relevant data, making it easier to analyze performance.
Create Dashboards and Reports: Develop dashboards and reports that visually represent the performance data. Use charts, graphs, and other visual aids to make the information easily understandable for stakeholders. Many WMS platforms offer built-in reporting features.
WSH is here to help your business analyze inventory for better flow and efficiency!
Have you worked with us on a project? Learn more about our experts and how we can help your business implement a WMS >>
Coming soon: Visit back next month to see part 2 of our warehouse operations improvement guide!
Call us today for a free evaluation of your warehouse
Our experienced, trained professionals will assess your operations and provide you with a safe and efficient management system in your budget range. Give us a call at 303-937-8376 or contact us online. We look forward to speaking with you!
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