The amount of change that warehouse operations have undergone in just the last few years is exciting—and occasionally exhausting. Demand for less centralised, more localised regional warehouses prioritising last-mile performance over DCs and stores is increasing as e-commerce grows.
At the same time, firms have added safety stock due to supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic, increasing costs and decreasing the global supply of storage space. Lack of labour makes it more challenging to recruit and keep employees.
Running a warehouse is not that easy and requires a lot of time and effort. In this article, we will teach you these warehouse management strategies, so your warehouse performance will become a lot simpler.
1. Plan the warehouse’s layout
Planning the layout of your warehouse space is a component that cannot be put off until the very last minute. Make sure there is plenty of room for your personnel and that it is simple to access the best-selling and most in-demand things.
There must be enough space in the warehouse for dollies, forklifts, and other machinery to operate effectively and safely if you need them to help reach and retrieve products. Everything that is required should have a place in the warehouse, and anything that is not required should be taken out.
2. Organize the warehouse
Once the layout is decided, you must maintain proper organisation in your warehouse. Employees may put things in the wrong place quite easily. Placing goods in the wrong locations will make it very difficult to locate such items afterwards. The warehouse must constantly be neatly arranged, and managers need to make sure this is the case on a regular basis.
3. Assemble bins and label them
The utilisation of bin placements for particular products will be essential to making it simpler to locate what is required. Additionally, barcode labelling is crucial. By using these methods, you can make sure that everything is precisely where it should be, which will make it quicker and simpler for your staff to schedule appointments and complete customer orders.
4. Make inventory accuracy better
How can you get a clearer image of your inventory? Warehouse management procedures are important from receiving to shipping: accurate labelling, product scanning at entry and exit, checking actual products against packing lists, reporting damage right away, and more.
Getting it connected is the most efficient approach to gaining visibility into precise, enterprise-wide inventory. You won’t have to guess again once you have access to your whole inventory in real-time on a single dashboard. That level of visibility can be provided by integrated labelling systems, mobile technology, and enterprise inventory management software.
5. Maintain safety
Your top priority should always be your employees’ safety. They must be aware of all the safety precautions you have put in place and adhere to the guidelines. Additionally, they must be familiar with the safe operation of all the tools they will be utilising to select stuff, including forklifts, dollies, ladders, etc.
If you’re using third-party services to help you with your infrastructure, transit hubs, cross docks, upstream management, staging, loading, and fulfilment, ANC Delivers can be a great help for you. Not only they can help with your warehouse, but they also provide delivery drivers and truck driver jobs if you need some staff for your business needs.
6. Proper staff training
The personnel needs to be instructed on proper picking techniques in addition to safety procedures and how to utilise equipment safely. They must understand how to operate their scanners, finish orders, and work as quickly as they can. The only approach to lower human error in warehouse inventory management is through appropriate training. Human error is one of the most prevalent challenges in this area.
7. Dead-head activities must be limited
The importance of respect between management and staff is a sometimes underappreciated lean operations basic. More than only time savings, waste reduction, and labour cost savings are at stake when redundant movements are removed from a warehouse plan. It exhibits respect for employees’ time and effort as well as your desire to enable them to add value wherever it is possible to operations.
Dead-end tasks take up a lot of time and are a waste of time. The fewer overall steps required to finish a task and the less frequently your employees must walk from place to place empty-handed, the more productive they can be throughout a shift. And that is crucial for more than simply your operational metrics. The health of the workforce is also improved.
Waste includes more than just leisurely treks across the warehouse. At scale, even tiny time losses from gazing up and down can quickly accumulate. By minimising assumptions and mistakes, the combination of voice commands and heads-up displays can have a significant influence in this area. In addition, voice headsets and smart safety glasses have been shown to speed up time to value by up to 70% by reducing the time required for new hire onboarding.
8. Reduce the amount of unsold inventory
You might discover that some of your product is stored on shelves that never seem to empty. It’s not because you’re refilling a well-liked product. Instead, it is because the product never sells off those shelves. These things are taking up valuable space in your warehouse because they don’t sell quickly. In order to remove them from your stock, you must identify the things that are not selling. To reduce inventory, your business could wish to put them up for sale or find another way to get rid of them.
9. Take the customer’s experience into account
It can be tempting to concentrate on KPIs that are only relevant to the warehouse when assessing productivity and efficiency. But improvements over the last two years have significantly reduced the gap between warehouse operations and customer experience, particularly for omnichannel retailers who have integrated in-store pickup, ship-to-store, and item availability data on their e-commerce sites. Distribution currently heavily relies on retail outlets, and e-commerce is interwoven into the in-store experience.
With a lot of one-off, continuous improvement solutions, this fully integrated operation just cannot succeed. In fact, if you use too many point-source solutions, you may end up with a lot of band-aids, which will only make IT’s job more difficult and raise the total cost of ownership.
Mobile devices can, in fact, play a significant role in an integration strategy. Inventory management and order fulfilment may be streamlined more than ever before with the use of scannable barcode labels, RFID, and automation. Every important business choice you make can be informed and changed by connecting your inventory data to your enterprise.
10. Select the correct automation for your process
Robotics certainly have a wow factor, but how can you be sure they will provide the ROI you require? The solution could depend on your operations’ scale or the level of automation you choose. Although not all robotics are currently plug-and-play, costs are declining and integration technology has advanced significantly. All of these factors result in additional alternatives for more operations.
Furthermore, some of the more basic robotic systems are just as simple to set up and use as the robotic vacuum cleaner you would have installed in your home.
Investments in automation will start to make even more sense when considering future job markets and production trends, as the lack of labour will force businesses to discover innovative solutions. Even though robotics and automation aren’t on the current to-do list, that is a crucial factor to take into account for the other optimizations you make. Integrating fundamental technologies that are simple to integrate with the lot-driven solutions you’ll require in the future is crucial.
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