In any operation or industry, companies and business owners would strive towards efficiency. This holds true even in warehouse operations. So if your company owns and manages a warehouse, or you’re in the warehouse business that manages the storage and logistics of products and goods, then you’d want to take note of the following tips to improve your warehouse’ efficiency
Maximize Your Warehouse Space
Since you’re in the business of storage, it’s essential that you maximise your warehouse’s storage space. Warehouses are built tall and wide, and you should be able to make use of that space efficiently. As such, you can install industrial shelves to make the most of your vertical space. You can also tap companies that specialise in mezzanine office and floor constructions to add a “floor” or level within your warehouse. Proper stacking and organisation of packages and goods can also help you make the most out of your warehouse’s space. Just remember before you even think about adding another warehouse to accommodate the products being stored, you should focus on making the most out of your current warehouse as upgrades are relatively cheaper than constructing or renting out another warehouse.
Review Your Layout and “Flow”
The flow of your goods in and out of your warehouse should be assessed to ensure that even at the busiest seasons or periods, the way your warehouse and workers receive, store, move, and transport the packages aren’t obstructing each other — this is what we mean by “flow”. If your warehouse’s layout and operation flow are inefficient, it will end up having your workers receiving packages be blocked or obstructed by workers transporting packages outside the warehouse, or vice-versa. In a way, you should you’d be managing the “traffic” of goods and the workers and vehicles (such as forklifts).
You should always prepare your warehouse for any foreseeable high-demand periods such as during the Christmas and other holidays. Being able to plan would prevent any shortcomings and allow you to meet the demands of the season; so when a particular holiday or season comes, you’ll be prepared with extra staffing (by getting seasonal staff), or even additional equipment (by renting them).
Use a Cloud-Based Inventory System
An efficient inventory system would allow you and your workers to properly track packages and goods coming in and out of the warehouse, as well as making it easy for you to know where to retrieve them. If you’re still stuck using paper print-outs of which shelf Package Number 12345 is, in a warehouse filled to the brim (vertically and horizontally), then you’d be promoting unnecessary and avoidable delays. Having your workers properly log which shelving unit or section the packages are stored in on a cloud-based system (with the use of tablets) allows other workers from different shifts to easily track and obtain the package instead of taking hours figuring out where the box is.
Train Your Staff
Even with the best infrastructure, equipment, and technology in place, it would all go to waste if your staff aren’t properly trained. So if you’re planning on adapting the use of tablets and cloud-based systems, train your staff properly on how to use them. Same goes when you’re adding new forklifts, or updating or revamping your inventory and shelving system. And never forget to include safety practice and regulations as part of their training.
There are many more strategies and tips you can apply to your warehouse to improve its efficiency. Just remember that in every step that you take towards efficiency, you should also ensure the safety of your warehouse and the workers inside; if you’re going to construct additional shelves, make sure that they’re correctly and professionally installed, or if you’re going to add new equipment, make sure that your staff is properly trained to operate them and equipped with personal safety garments to avoid injuries.