The Best Ways to Increase Warehouse Efficiency
Warehouse efficiency is a key component for any large product based business that carries lots of stock. There are many ways to increase warehouse efficiency which can have a dramatic affect on a business that should be taken into consideration. For those serious about improving the system of their warehouse should look at developing a systematic Racking System.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to increase warehouse efficiency:
Maximize Space in the Warehouse
Maximizing space in the warehouse is a great way to increase warehouse efficiency. Instead of simply expanding the warehouse by making it bigger horizontally first you need to think vertically! Take a look at the space in the warehouse and try to make the most of it by utilizing the entire thing. Taller storage units are much more cost effective than spending money on looking trying to expand the physical size of the warehouse.
Focus on purchasing shelving that fits what you want to pack in condensly rather than units that waste space. This is very important and can save lots of time and money, while keeping the current warehouse more organized.
Create a Lean Inventory System
Lean inventory management is the practice of keep stock levels to the absolute minimum while still managing to replenish sold items as quickly as possible from your suppliers. It’s basically as system which allows you to keep only the stock you need and nothing more to save on storage costs. When done properly this can be a very cost-effective and professional strategy but is not easy to do! Technology can help a lot with Lean Inventory Systems.
There is always a risk of over selling leaving yourself short with no stock for customers and therefore missing out on key sales opportunities which can have a disastrous effect on the performance and reputation of your business. This is of course the last thing you want to do, so getting the balance right is key. If you can find an automated way of ordering new stock in time for your next sale without holding extra stock you are on to a winner.
Labor efficiency cannot be underestimated. Obviously the harder your staff work the less staff you need to contract and the most cost effective things are. It is extremely important to maximize what you can get out of your staff on a long term basis.
Warehouse jobs can be dull and demotivating so it is important to find ways to motivate your staff. This can be done intrinsically by giving the staff member opportunities to learn new skills, keeping them occupied (perhaps switching roles) and making them feel good about their jobs. Extrinsic motivation is about what the staff physically get out of the job, rewarding the staff members with physical rewards such as bonuses for completing tasks on time or to a good standard. This is not easy in a warehouse compared to a sales based role where commission plays a big part in extrinsic motivation. However if you offer high enough rewards in a wage packet for a dull and repetitive job it is possible to keep people motivated.