Efficiency is paramount to the success of any warehouse. Ensuring products are stored carefully and delivered on time can attract repeat purchases and reduce overall costs. On the other hand, when productivity and accuracy begin to slip, delays might occur and hit your bottom line.
Below are ways to streamline your warehouse’s performance and maximize your resources. By following these tips, you can recover lost time and boost sales.
Maximize available space
Consider maximizing vertical space instead of adding square footage to your warehouse. Installing taller storage units can improve your storage capabilities without the need for additional expansion costs.
Explore different types of shelving for different items. Standardized bins can keep shelves neat and organized, while pallet racks can waste space and make it easier to lose track of smaller supplies. Installing better storage solutions can reduce the time spent looking for misplaced tools or equipment.
Similarly, organizing workstations can improve productivity and streamline processes. Following the “5S” method (Sort, Shine, Set in Order, Standardize, and Sustain) can keep workstations neat and orderly. It also removes clutter, which alleviates stress and sharpens focus.
Keep your equipment in good shape
Regular equipment maintenance keeps your workers safe on the job and ensures operations run as smoothly as possible. It also catches any defects before they escalate into bigger and more expensive problems.
When looking at warehouse equipment for sale, check how easy they are to assemble, operate, and maintain. Doing so will give you an idea of the kind of routine maintenance it requires.
Equipment failures don’t just cost money. They can also lead to downtime. Unexpected maintenance after a breakdown can result in delays and unhappy customers. That’s why it’s essential to create a rotating schedule for machine check-ups and cleaning.
Use bar codes and RFID
Manually tracking your inventory takes too much time and human resources. Fortunately, new technologies like bar codes and radio frequency identification (RFID) lets you monitor all the products that enter and exit your warehouse. It helps you speed up your processes and eliminate paperwork. RFID tags also have a radio feature that can record and broadcast inventory data in real time.
Bar codes can also improve accuracy and time spent identifying a specific product. They’re generally cheaper than RFID technology, and take up less space on the packaging.
Invest in a warehouse management system (WMS)
While bar codes and RFIDs collect inventory data, your WMS software stores and interprets the information to increase efficiency and reduce human errors. It can create automated pick lists and come up with the fastest routes to obtain products for an order.
Having too much product on hand can translate to additional storage costs while having too little reduces your chances of making a sale. A WMS program can help you solve these issues by setting periodic automatic replenishment levels in your inventory. They notify you once your inventory dips below the standard level to ensure products are ordered immediately. On the other hand, a maximum inventory cap can also be implemented to reduce overstocking.
No matter how well your warehouse functions, know that there’s always room for improvement. Taking a proactive approach to the growth of your facility can help you reduce risk and keep up with changing consumer needs.