If your business operates a warehouse, then congratulations. You are running a strong, product-lead company that is thriving. Your stock is flying off the shelves to eager customers and consumers. There’s only one problem; it could all be more efficient! That’s where we come in. We are warehouse experts with years of experience. Today we’ll help you tighten up your process, ship more orders and make more money. If that sounds good to you, keep reading.
- Embrace Software
Modern technology software is vital to improving your warehouse efficiency. It will streamline your orders and prioritise your shipping. More importantly, it will categorise your inventory and monitor your stock. It will allow your workers to quickly identify orders, pick them, and transfer them to your shipping team. Overall, this will allow you to ship more product and grow your business.
- Get the Right Hardware
Working in a warehouse is a very physical job. Anything you can do to make that process easier for your employees will improve efficiency. First of all, we recommend finding specific access platforms for the job. They allow workers to quickly and safely reach stock on various levels. You’ll also want to invest in a number of warehouse vehicles such as fork-lift trucks. They’ll cut the intensive labour by half and allow your employees to work more efficiently.
- Monitor and Improve Your Picking Process
The picking process is the heart of your warehouse. From the second an order drops into your warehouse team, the picking clock starts running. It ends when the stock is safely loaded into your delivery trucks, ready to go. It includes the time taken to identify and locate the stock, pick it and transport it to the delivery team. You should monitor the average picking time, and work to bring it down. In the next points, we’ll show you how.
- Group Popular SKUs
Most warehouses follow a similar pattern. Roughly 20% of the stock will make up 80% of all orders. There are, naturally, more popular stock than others. Your warehouse should reflect that. Group the most common 20% close to the delivery team. Your picking time will reduce when you implement this strategy. You should also group stock that is regularly ordered together to save time.
- Incentivize Workers
Working in a warehouse is a long, labour-intensive job. To get continued motivation from your employees, it’s often worth incentivizing their work. Reward the fastest pickers, and encourage them to make suggestions about functionality. Remember, they’re on the ground working every day. They know what structure or organisation would work better in there. Give them an incentive to create new ideas. Help them make it better for everyone.
- Embrace Technology
Technology is your best friend in a warehouse environment. It will improve efficiency and allow you to ship more goods. Give workers electronic scanners and location devices to improve their speed. Use conveyor belts to cut down travel time and decrease workload. Link all this technology with your software and automate every process.
Improving efficiency is no easy feat. It’s a complicated methodology and different techniques will work better for different warehouses. Find what works for you, and stick with it!