When your products reach your customers on time, you can guarantee a positive reaction to your company. Good word of mouth will spread and there is every chance you will benefit from new and returning customers. This is why it's important to focus on efficiency. It's a word that should be at the heart of everything you do in business, but in the context of this article, it should be your focus when it comes to your warehouse operations.
So, how can you improve warehouse efficiency? Well, here are some suggestions we hope you find useful.
Re-organize your warehouse if necessary
How easy is it for your employees to navigate their way around the warehouse? How organized are the products within? If it's difficult to get from A to B, and if your employees struggle to find the products they need quickly, there will understandably be issues with efficiency.
The warehouse will also be inefficient if your employees have to travel long stretches to get corresponding products for the customer order.
So, make changes where necessary, and ensure there is some semblance of logic when categorizing your products. Remove any obstacles to ensure easy passage and to improve health and safety. And to reduce the need for your employees to cover long distances, build storage upwards when making room for your inventory.
Invest in specialized equipment
Money isn't wasted when you invest in equipment that increases efficiency.
When it comes to your warehouse, the purchases you can make are wide and many, including automated warehouse robots that can aid in the picking process, and a pallet master to improve efficiency in the central palletizing area.
It is a good idea to invest in mobile technology too. Employees can now use smartphones and tablets loaded with WMS (Warehouse Management Software) to pick orders and find optimal picking routes, so consider this advanced technology for your warehouse.
There will be an expense when investing in new equipment, but if it can improve efficiency, your happy customers will offset the cost when they return to your business.
Review how stock is replenished
Many businesses hire inventory controllers to ensure stock is replenished on time. While there is nothing wrong with this, there can sometimes be room for human error. They might forget to check inventory levels on certain products, for example, which can be problematic when a customer makes an order for something that isn't readily available in the warehouse.
You can get around this with inventory management software. This is a form of WMS that we referenced earlier. Certain programs will automate stock replenishment when products are low so you need never have to deal with missing inventory again.
Take care of your staff
The happier your employees are the more efficient they will be. This is something you will already understand but because warehouse employees are often hidden from view, their needs can sometimes be neglected.
So, think of the needs of your warehouse team as well as the needs of the other staff members you see day to day. Look after their training needs, include them within your wider staff meetings, and make an effort to thank them for their hard work. By recognizing their contribution to your company, you will benefit from happier and more efficient workers.
With this advice, you will do much to improve the efficiency of your warehouse team. This will benefit your business and the customers who need to get their orders on time.