Achieving maximum efficiency is of the utmost importance in operating a modern warehouse. As any experienced warehouse manager can tell you, improving efficiency reduces overall costs. What’s more, there is a strong relationship between customer retention and warehouse efficiency—not to mention the implications for employee safety.
If you believe your warehouse processes are due for an overhaul, here are a few common areas concerning overall efficiency that you could consider:
Review Existing Processes
To identify inefficiencies in your warehouse, it may be necessary to examine your longstanding processes with fresh eyes. Are you doing certain things because they are the most efficient way, or because “that’s how we’ve always done it?” Identify any areas where workflow, storage, etc. may be slowing you down and make changes accordingly.
With commercial real estate prices at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to make the most of your existing workspace. Make the most of your available storage footprint by building upward. Increasing vertical storage could improve your inventory capacity exponentially.
Additionally, give careful thought to right-of-way lanes for all powered reach equipment. Having a standardized flow for order pickers, forklifts, and other such equipment is crucial to maintaining employee safety, which is directly tied to the overall productivity of your team.
Introducing a quota system tied to bonuses and incentives for your team can greatly boost employee productivity. If implemented correctly, these programs pay for themselves and then some, and give workers a personal stake in promoting efficiency.
Be Mindful of Inventory
Inventory management is the cornerstone of an efficient warehouse. An experienced inventory manager and/or a well-implemented inventory management software can help reduce costly over/understock headaches. Modern inventory management technologies also allow you to forecast product demand well ahead of time. Create a standardized review process to track trends in inventory, taking metrics such as a product’s average turnover rate, days spent in the warehouse, and gross profit tied to items in storage.
Through nearly every stage of a warehouse’s operations, automation offers solutions to improve efficiency. Through our ongoing commitment to research & development, UMD can custom design and manufacture equipment specific to the specifications and needs of your supply chain, ensuring your operation is as efficient as possible.