When you are running a business that deals with products, how efficiently your warehouse is running should be one of your number one considerations that you need to take seriously. This means getting your product out and shipped to clients as efficiently as you can.
Several factors are at play to make this happen and feed into general efficiency and the management of your warehouse to ensure that it is as good as possible. Here, let’s check out a few of the main actions that you can take.
Improve Health and Safety Policy
An accident is one of the top issues that can cause disruption in a factory or warehouse setting. Depending on the accident, it may well shut down production for at least some time – and could be more serious if it is found that you were negligent in your duty to protect health and wellbeing.
Therefore, the warehouse must be assessed regularly to check its safety. You also need to implement any suggestions that have been seriously made and recommended. Getting all staff members involved and ensuring that you put health and safety at the heart of your policy is also paramount.
Ensuring everyone has enough breaks will help keep them all refreshed and ready for work. You also need to look into all equipment, ensuring that you get it from reputable suppliers, as well as looking at machinery that will help to keep a stable working environment such as HVLS fans.
Also, all equipment needs to be maintained on a regular basis to ensure that it remains in the very best working condition.
Review Your Processes
Any operation that looks into efficiency has to start with a general review of its processes and procedures. This way, you will be able to see whether it is currently working well or not, and what can be improved or cut. Perhaps you will find that there are some issues that could be solved or improved.
Some elements may only need tweaking and gradual improvement. If you go in and start making changes before you have worked out the general issues that are plaguing your warehouse, you are unlikely to get to the root of the problem. Instead, you will find yourself tinkering around the edges without getting to the heart of the matter.
Sort Out The Warehouse Layout
One of the main issues that means a warehouse is not as efficient as it could be is the layout. This means looking at where everything is positioned and working out whether rearranging could help in terms of getting products boxed up and out the door more efficiently.
Perhaps a certain product is based in an awkward location when it could otherwise be put in a more accessible place. Maybe people cannot move around the space as freely and comfortably as they can. When you are rearranging the warehouse, it is worth getting the input of your staff members and coming up with an altogether better layout together.
After all, they are always on the floor and are much more likely to have specific suggestions that can be implemented.
Forecast Based On Seasonal Differences
You can make your warehouse more efficient with improved forecasting. For example, perhaps there is a time of year when you foresee that you will be selling a lot more products. This typically tends to happen around the Christmas period. During this time, you could look to hire more staff members on a temporary basis.
Rather than waiting until the last minute to do this, you could plan ahead of time and ensure that they are already contracted before every other firm has exactly the same idea. If a particular product sells especially well during a certain time of the year, you will need to order in plenty more of them rather than letting them sell out and impact your profits.
The longer you run the business, the more likely you will become adept at forecasting and anticipating the seasonal changes to a business as and when they happen.
Track Your Products
Having a more automated system in terms of tracking will help as it means that you will be able to pay attention to when products are moving quicker than others. Having a system of barcode scanning means that you will be able to see when products are moving off the shelf digitally.
This means that you won’t have to do manual inventory and can seek to stock up quicker. Also, you will be able to tell if any unusual activity is going on, such as products disappearing when they should not be. Ultimately, if you can get a better tracking situation sorted out, this will help you to run the warehouse stocking system altogether more efficiently.
Take Advantage of New Tech
The most modern warehouses are the ones that keep a close eye on tech, looking to update as and when needed. This could involve machinery that pick the products for you and the scanning and tracking elements that have already been discussed earlier.
Ultimately, taking advantage of new tech means you will have a much clearer understanding of the updates and advancements happening in the sector. However, new tech is only part of the puzzle. You also need to provide full and proper training to staff members, ensuring they can make the most out of everything you put into your warehouse.
Provide Regular Training Sessions
Many warehouses have the major problem of making training a one-time thing and never refreshing it at all. Instead, you need to make sure that training sessions are regular and offered as much as required. This is true whenever you are implementing some changes around your warehouse (which should be on a regular basis but you also need to do the same whenever you are onboarding new staff members and getting them used to the way you do things.
The whole point of recording errors is not so that you have a witch hunt and you try to blame the person that is at fault. Instead, you need to make sure that you find out what led to the error so it doesn’t happen in the future. In almost all cases, there is an issue around processes that you could seek to solve.
The closer that you examine the error, the more likely it is that you will put in place a system that will sidestep it next time. However, you don’t necessarily need to have everyone involved. It should be kept on a discreet basis as much as possible.
Warehouses are always primed for efficiency savings to be made within them. First of all, you need to prevent any health and safety issues from happening. These always have the potential to be costly and can shut down your operation over an extended period of time. You then need to review how things are going on a regular basis.
If there are any efficiency savings that can be made, you should make sure to take them seriously rather than kicking them onto the back burner. At this stage, it is going to be worth getting every single staff member involved as they can all feed into your processes, making sure that it goes as smoothly as possible.
Also, you need to embrace new tech as and when it becomes a better option. You need to provide the right training on it as well. Otherwise, you will only be making things less efficient rather than more.