Optimizing your warehouse is no easy feat. To do so, it requires a careful balance of people, processes and technology to make it happen. However, if you can master warehouse management, the benefits include a smooth-running operation and happy customers who receive their shipments on time, every time.
5 Types of Warehouse Optimization
1. Use an automated inventory management system
If you don’t have this; get it. In today’s fast-moving economy, an automated inventory system is a real business advantage to those that are using it. But, that’s the key—your teams must be using it in order for it to be effective. Once you choose an inventory management system, be sure to train everyone on how it’s to be used. If your employees aren’t properly using it, you're wasting money on a tool that will make your warehouse and back office teams far more efficient. Implement, train and repeat regularly.
2. Optimize your pick, pack and ship process
If you own a business with inventory, then you know how warehouse fulfillment works. When an order comes in, you need to pull a product from your inventory. It needs to be safely packaged for the customer and then shipped. This is known as pick, pack, and ship. An efficient order tracking software for the pick tickets can reduce errors and accelerate shipping and delivery. Automatically print shipping labels when an order is received in one easy step. Allow workers to scan barcodes to enter shipment data, rather than writing down numbers. Eliminate written errors and the need to re-enter data with inventory management software.
3. Design an optimized warehouse layout
A well-designed warehouse floor plan will improve your operational efficiency, save you money and improve your inventory turn ratio. For popular items, make those the most accessible to your pick and pack team. For high-volume SKUs, you’ll want to consider setting up multiple pick, pack and ship locations. Store items that are less frequently shipped in a less accessible area. Just as in real estate: location is everything. A well-designed warehouse is often a moving target, so evaluate it quarterly to be sure the current layout is the best.
4. Optimize the receipt of goods
Use your inventory management software to issue digitized purchase orders and receive goods as quickly as they arrive. Scan barcodes and apply the appropriate labeling to get them stocked quickly, especially if a high-demand product. Don’t let receivables sit for days at a time on the warehouse floor. Get them scanned and shelved right away. If it’s a highly popular item, you run the risk of losing customers simply because it took your team too long to receive and shelve it.
5. Train your employees on safety measures
By properly training your warehouse staff, you’ll have less errors and injuries. Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common injuries, so be sure to require the right kind of footwear. For employees operating lift equipment, ensure each operator is properly trained and certified. Equally important is the dock. Your dock should be fitted with the right dock plates and boards to aid delivery drivers in getting receivables right up to your door. The right equipment aids safety, so be sure to buy what is recommended to make your warehouse safe.
By optimizing your warehouse, you’ll discover that your team is able to operate more efficiently. As you gain efficiencies, your customers will reap the benefits of your hard work through an improved customer experience, which will have them returning again and again to do business with you. Want to see what Systum can do regarding warehouse and inventory management? Fill out the form below and one of our reps will reach out.
Categories: Inventory Management