Keeping your warehouse organized and working efficiently is essential for helping your entire business to run smoothly. Its efficiency can have a significant impact on your profit margins and by utilizing warehousing solutions you can improve your bottom line and keep your customers happy. Warehousing solutions cover a variety of different areas, from layout optimization and organization to picking and packing and technologies such as management software. Here are a few solutions to consider when looking at how to make your warehousing solutions more efficient:
Adopt a warehouse management system to eliminate human error and reduce waste
A warehouse management system sits at the core of a business’ manufacturing and supply chain operations and ensures that products make their way from production right through to distribution. It is used alongside other systems such as transport management and inventory management.
There are a variety of different warehouse management systems and some will be more relevant than others, depending on the nature of your business and operations. Just a few of these include:
- Workforce tracking – these can be used to monitor labour key performance indicators (KPIs) and keep employees on track and accountable.
- Shipping – this is used to generate packing lists, invoices and to send out notifications to end customers.
- Inventory tracking – keeps track of your stock using barcodes.
- Picking / packing – this is software that helps warehouse workers use lot zoning and guides them through pick and pack tasks.
Finding the right warehouse management systems can be an arduous process, as they can be costly to install and run. It is therefore essential that you do your research and find the technology and systems that fits your individual business’ needs.
Think carefully about the long-term plans for your business and find system suppliers that will walk you through their software and offer trials.
Optimize your space through taller storage units and making the most of existing spaces
Another way to refine your warehouse is through optimizing the space that you already have to work with. Using high shelving and containers can help you to fit the most stock in the area as possible.
You can easily convert your shipping containers using a SteelMaster shipping container cover. You may want to convert shipping containers to store heavy valuable equipment, to create office space or employee rest areas or a separate workshop space for production or repairs.
Shipping container covers can be used across two shipping containers and can create either enclosed or open spaces. Their design means that you can utilize 100 percent of your ground space and are a more budget friendly solution than other building structures.
Organise your workstations for a more streamlined process
This might sound obvious but it is often something that is overlooked, designing your workstation to save time and make processes easier will certainly improve efficiency.
Have a think about all the materials that your staff need at their work station. Are they easily accessible or close by? When they run out a certain material (e.g. packing tape) are there more close by to stock up their station?
Watch how traffic moves through your warehouse and see if there are ways to cut down the amount of time the workforce spend moving between one space and another, the solution might be as simple as moving two workstations closer together.
This is also a good time to look at ways you can save resources and cut costs, have a think about what materials you can use less of or if there is a way to remove them from the process all together. You may need to consult with your workforce as they will have the best insight into the process given that it is their day-to-day job to carry it out.