6 Tips To Increase Warehouse Efficiency
Whether you have a large or small warehouse, making some simple tweaks and changes can go a long way in improving the running of your business. Having an efficient warehouse is crucial for customer satisfaction by leading to quick and correct despatch of your orders. It’s also a well-known fact that creating an efficient warehouse reduces your overall costs, yet many businesses still don’t use these simple tips to increase warehouse efficiency.
- Implement a warehouse management system to help you keep track of your stock and improve your team’s efficiency. A warehouse management system makes managing your inventory much easier as you will be able to see exactly how much of each stocked item you have and where they are located, allowing you to quickly respond and replenish as needed. This will help to avoid running out of any items and prevent orders being delayed. It will also help your picking team to easily locate stock when they need to pick it and enable them to see which products are close to each other so they can pick items in an efficient order.
- Keep your warehouse tidy, clean and well labelled. It might seem like an obvious thing to do but It can also be easily forgotten about when things get busy. Keeping a warehouse tidy and clean makes it easy for your picking team to easily get to the items they need to without having to spend time rummaging through clutter or other products that are in the way. It can also prevent damage being done to products through dirt. Even in smaller warehouses, clearly labelling locations and products will mean your picking team can easily navigate aisles and shelves and Identify which products are which, reducing the risk of errors.
- Make the most of your available space. Make sure you use up all the space you comfortably can in your warehouse before expanding its footprint. Use the right shelving and racking to utilize the vertical space in your warehouse. This will save you money from having to rent out more space for your stock than you need to. Keep your products organised so that your best sellers with high turnovers are low on the racking for easy picking and close to your packing benches. As well as keeping them low, keep items that are complimentary or frequently bough together close by. In a busy warehouse with hundreds or thousands of products being picked every day, this will increase warehouse efficiency by saving you and your staff a huge amount of time that would have been spent simply walking from one place to another.
- Ensure that your packaging stations are organised. This is a key area to focus on to increase warehouse efficiency as it is the last point of an order before leaving your warehouse and going on its journey to your customers. If orders get stuck here it can have a knock-on effect and halt your picking team. Consider getting purpose built packing stations for a better-defined area with storage and dispensers for packing materials. Keep all the other necessary materials such as boxes, tape and document wallets topped up and in or around the packing benches to make it easier and quicker your get your orders packed.
- Consider using flexible packaging. Rather than having to source, sort and store specific sized packaging for specific sized products, try using packaging that is suitable for a range of products. Packaging such as Adjustable Boxes are great because you can put a variety of sizes of products inside them and simply cut up to the score line you want to fold the flaps down to. Alternatively, you could try Telescopic Boxes where the separate lid slides over the top, allowing you to adjust to the height of your products. Using packaging items such as these will mean you don’t need to keep as much packaging at your packing stations and make it easier for your packing team to find suitable packaging for your products.
- Make sure your workers have adequate equipment such as platform trolleys, ladders and pallet trucks etc to get the job done. Again, it might seem like an obvious thing to do, but ill-equipped warehouses are still not unheard of. Avoid trying to cut back on warehouse equipment to save money as it’s counterproductive and having an adequate amount of good quality equipment makes it easier for your team to do their job quickly and effectively which will lead to an increase warehouse efficiency.
Sometimes improving warehouse efficiency can come from things as simple as having the right equipment or changing the layout of your warehouse. Try some of these simple steps and watch your efficiency increase.