February 16th, 2023
Top 10 proven ideas to boost storage efficiency within the warehouse.
10 Proven Ideas to Boost Storage Efficiency Within the Warehouse
To most people, ensuring customers receive their orders on time and having stocked shelves means great warehouse efficiency. And while that may seem like everything there is to it, that’s not quite the case.
Good storage efficiency in a warehouse entails more than having things in their designated places and delivering products on time. It’s also about nurturing a better working environment, maximizing your warehouse space, and saving money.
Whether you have a multi-channel operation or a small warehouse, it’s always prudent to keep reviewing your solutions and processes to see what could be improved. You might be surprised how even the mildest adjustments to your strategy can positively impact your business.
Here are ten proven ideas to help boost storage efficiency within the warehouse.
Revise Your Warehouse’s Layout
Unsurprisingly, warehouses with the best layouts have the upper hand in attaining the utmost efficiency. But that doesn’t make it automatic—even the most well-organized warehouse could be challenging if the employees disregard the proper processes. However, the first step is establishing the groundwork with a decent plan.
A well-designed warehouse tackles typical operational issues such as unsafe storage practices, long picking times, receiving and shipping delays, and lost inventory. You can easily address all these challenges through proper warehouse planning and picking the right layout.
Leverage Warehouse Technology
It makes sense for any warehouse manager to leverage distinct warehouse technology solutions in today’s market.
One great example of such technology is a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) to help automate scheduling and accounting, manage inventory, and provide real-time data about your company.
You can also capitalize on RFID technology, which is increasingly used in warehouses for tracking purposes. And suppose you wish to streamline the internal picking and packing process, investing in mobile-powered carts and headsets may be an excellent idea.
Employ Proper Packaging
Warehouse facilities have plenty of packaging options to pick from. Nonetheless, not every packaging is the same, and you might want to gauge the upsides and downsides of each.
Using unsuitable packaging for specific items could result in additional carrier expenses, products going bad (in the case of perishables), and damaged products (which are likely to be returned).
Minimal Touch of Goods
It’s always best to minimize product handling in the warehouse as much as possible. A normal warehouse could have roughly seven or eight product handling instances if not completely automated.
This means your staff must pick products up and put them down about seven to eight times, either through MHE or manually. But it doesn’t always have to be that way—if you try to reduce these instances by half (three to four times), your warehouse storage efficiency could improve.
By organizing workstations in your warehouse, you help eliminate the need for workers to look for equipment or tools, boosting storage efficiency.
Quick tip? Leverage the 5S approach from lean manufacturing to ensure optimal workstation organization. It entails the following techniques: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, all of which are intended to enhance warehouse safety and organization, reduce errors, and keep clutter at bay.
Optimize Your Picking Process
There are several ways to enhance the picking processes in the warehouse. One is reducing the distances the employees have to cover to gather the items required for order fulfilment.
You can attain this by implementing a warehouse management system (WMS), which informs operators of the shortest routes to take within the warehouse and the exact number of products that need to be retrieved.
Additionally, consider leveraging automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) and other automated solutions. By employing the goods-to-person approach, these systems save time by ensuring the items required to fulfil orders are brought to a designated pick station rather than having your operators travel to get them.
If you’re looking to improve storage efficiency in your warehouse, it might be best to consult widely. We no longer live in the days when a few people seated in a room make all the decisions.
Talk to different people, from the managing director to the receptionist, suppliers, engineers, architects, and forklift drivers, and get their input on the warehouse requirements.
Understand Your Data
Assessing your warehouse’s transactional value information and data is key to enhancing efficiency. You’ll need to look into things such as:
- What you have to pick, pack, and dispatch
- What you’re receiving
- What you receive in returns
- Other value-adding activities
Good tip: avoid working with averages. Why? Doing so means you’re only likely to be right half the time. Instead, assess the highs and the lows to get better statistics—you might want to employ some mathematics for this.
Consider a Lean Inventory
Having a lean inventory is beneficial to managing your warehouse. Lean management’s core tenet is to only take what is necessary, and that’s it.
You can achieve this by working with your suppliers to supply smaller volumes more often and reducing, if not eliminating, your contingency stockpiles.
Monitor Progress and Adjust
Building a business without data to show you your warehouse performance and what needs improvement isn’t easy. Luckily, your various technological solutions will provide you with the required data to monitor your performance and make more effective business decisions.
Determine your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs), such as receipt accuracy rate, average inventory age, cost per line item, truck time at dock, and volume per person-hour. Measure these KPIs to establish benchmarks and implement changes to your warehouse procedures, particularly those needing continuous improvement.
Optimize Your Warehouse Storage Efficiency Today!
No matter how well your warehouse seems to be operating, there is always room for improvement. And as far as boosting your warehouse’s storage efficiency, the above ideas guarantee better overall results, reduced expenses, and customer satisfaction.
At Rollcage.ie, we boast expertise in manufacturing and supplying top-quality logistic and storage handling equipment. Our warehouse storage cages, which can help optimize storage efficiency in your warehouse, are a great example.
We have plenty of options, from collapsible cages to post pallets and stillages, pallet retention units, 4-sided roll cages, and more, depending on your needs. So, feel free to contact us, and let’s help optimize your warehouse.