July 26th, 2023
Top 10 Ways to Save Time, Space, and Money Within the Warehouse
To realize any tangible success in today’s economic atmosphere of maximum competition and low stability, operational costs must be reduced, storage space optimized, and warehouse productivity enhanced.
Better put, warehouse management is the soul of your supply chain – it aids in process optimization and customer satisfaction, hence guaranteeing general inventory profitability.
But how exactly can you save time, space, and money in your warehouse? We have designed ten essential exercises to help your warehouse spend less and make more in these unprecedented times when every organization is looking to ensure their business flourishes rather than just survive. Let’s get right into it.
Organise Warehouse Layout and Workstations for Better Workflow
Putting aside designated workspaces isn’t the only way your warehouse’s layout may assist in shortening processing times. Consider client order operations and inventory receipt when designing the warehouse layout and positioning of workstations.
Moreover, cut down the time your staff spends passing instructions to the next team, getting equipment, or looking for tools by placing employee workstations near the vendors, departments, and resources they interact with.
Organizing your workstations also helps enhance safety, maximize storage use, slash pick-up times, break bottlenecks, lower inventory loss, minimize errors, reduce clutter, and improve warehouse organization.
Human fatigue and error are major obstacles to meeting deadlines. By reducing the extent of human involvement in the process, you can significantly increase the likelihood of fulfilling orders on time.
Automation would take both software and mechanical forms in this case. For example, you may leverage a conveyor belt to accelerate the process of transferring goods between different warehouse sections.
Moreover, you can also acquire warehouse management software to provide both detailed and high-level real-time insights into inventory and warehouse activity. These systems may also help improve warehouse efficiency by determining the best routes and techniques for fulfillment.
For instance, they can automatically send notifications to cell phones and other portable devices, reducing the time one might require to distribute pick lists personally.
Plan for Reverse Logistics
There’s more to warehouse responsibilities than just shipping products to customers and receiving new stock from distributors and manufacturers. Amidst carrying out order fulfillment, returns will emerge whenever a customer is not content with a product. You can also expect returns owing to obsolete products and recalls from defects.
This process, commonly referred to as reverse logistics, may pose obstacles if not properly managed, regardless of how well your outbound process is running. Remember, everything is taking place under one roof; therefore, any bottlenecks in reverse logistics will eventually impact the effort and time you devote to your outbound process.
Part creativity, part science, optimizing your slotting is essential – it is the sequential process of assessing inventory data to organize better and categorize inventory within a distribution center or warehouse. This eventually bolsters warehouse profitability and productivity, thereby improving overall operational efficiency.
The ultimate goal is to have the right product at the right time and place, which also contributes to enhancing order processing and picking speed. As a result, customers will enjoy a more efficient and convenient experience.
A lean inventory is advantageous for warehouse management. The core principle of lean management is to take only what is highly necessary.
You can attain this by talking to your distributors to deliver lower quantities more frequently and shrinking, if not eliminating, your reserve inventory.
The American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) defines benchmarking as:
“The process of improving performance by continuously identifying, understanding, and adapting outstanding practices and processes found inside and outside the organization. Benchmarking (seeks) to improve any given business process by exploiting best practices rather than merely measuring the best performance. Best practices are the cause of best performance. Studying best practices provides the greatest opportunity for gaining a strategic, operational, and financial advantage.”
Benchmarking your warehouse allows you to establish an ideal baseline and track changes from it, thus helping you get a clear picture of what is going wrong and where. As such, correcting and optimizing operations will prove easier to get your staff back on track, reduce overheads, keep your customers happy, and enhance profitability.
Cross docking is a super-smart technique to cut down storage costs, especially in today’s economic climate, characterized by strained supply chains and logistics. It is the direct merchandise flow from the supplier to the buyer, eliminating the intermediary and lowering prices at multiple points.
This saves money and time on storage and product management, as well as on labor and delivery – especially in today’s era where labor and delivery are undoubtedly two of the most uncertain and volatile resources.
To enhance warehouse storage efficiency, you should seek advice from various experts. We no longer live in an era when all decisions are made by a few people sitting in a room.
Discuss warehouse requirements with various individuals, from the managing director to the engineers, distributors, receptionists, forklift drivers, architects, etc.
Prioritise Regular Inspections and Maintenance.
You will always have to pay for equipment. Waiting too long to conduct maintenance will result in efficiency concerns and significant costs.
Regular maintenance will ensure your equipment performs as expected, avoiding workplace hassles and decreasing the possibility of employee harm and injury. Despite money being the key focus for many people, your only irreplaceable and most valuable asset is your employees.
Educate Your Employees
All the above ideas can only prove effective if you have a change-management plan in place and your team is prepared for change.
Strategize and inform your employees of what to expect. Demonstrate how things are evolving and come back to check on the progress and address any questions.
Enhance Your Overall Warehouse Efficiency Today
Having come to the end of this piece, we believe the above tips can greatly help save time, money, and space in your warehouse.
As a manufacturer and supplier of logistics and storage handling equipment, we can help with your quest. Our warehouse storage cages can come in handy in helping you achieve great warehouse efficiency.