5 Warehouse Management Mistakes to Avoid


Warehouse management can be a complex weave of mastery and mistakes, even for a seasoned veteran. More often than not working off a warehouse inventory management template won't be enough.


There are some key tenets to follow that can help keep you and your team out of trouble and on track to achieving the kind of KPIs that give your superiors a warm, fuzzy feeling. Let’s waste no time—since you have many things to pick, pick and ship—and get started.


  1. Use a state-of-the-art software that helps you track receivables, manage your ongoing inventory and outbound orders and shipments. No matter your size as a company, number of SKUs in your warehouse or daily orders, this is a must have and a no brainer. While you may not think it’s necessary, later on you’ll wish you had data that warehouse inventory management software can provide. Sales, order and customer history will help you plan for future demand. Without it, you’re flying blind and today’s SaaS software solutions are robust and affordable, even if you only have a few customers. So, there’s no excuse! Track everything and use software that ties everything back to the customer record.

  2. Label everything and we’re not just talking outbound shipments. Every box that rests in your warehouse should have an assigned home and label, including a BIN and LOT numbering system. Such labeling systems make it easy for employees to find the products they’re looking for as they pick and pack shipments for your customers. The faster they can find products in your warehouse, the more shipments your team will be able to get out the door in a given day.

  3. There are a number of warehouse management tips that novices need to pay attention to. However, one of the most important to remember is the “First In, First Out” method. First-in-First-Out is exactly what it sounds like: as you receive like items or SKUs in your warehouse, the oldest items should be shipped out first. FIFO ensures that perishable or seasonal SKUs don’t expire, rendering them unsellable stock.

  4. Safety is a must. All it takes is one accident to halt outbound shipments, or worse yet, someone is injured. In either case, it’s going to cost you. If the employee has to take time off work, you’ll lose shipping days due to the time it takes to find and train a temporary replacement. If you’re truly at fault for not providing a safe warehouse environment for your employees to work in, you could be sued and the cost could be too much for your business to bear.  Safety is really about what you can do to provide a safe working environment as well as accident prevention, so be sure to follow OSHA guidelines for warehouse safety.

  5. Ask your employees what they need to improve job performance and safety. They will be thrilled with the fact that you asked for their input. Perhaps it’s time to add some air conditioning if you’re in a hotter area of the country.  If employees aren’t happy, it’s likely your customers won’t be either.


If you’d like to learn how Systum can help you improve your warehouse management, including track orders, sales and order fulfillment, manage customer records and serve as your inventory management software, fill out the form below.


Categories: Wholesale Distribution, Inventory Management, Software

Tags: key performance indicators, OSHA, Bin, lot, warehouse, Warehouse management, inventory, pick pack and ship, Software, job performance, safety

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Molly Mehlenbacher

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