These warehouse management tips will help you streamline operations and provide faster fulfillment to your customers. Over the past year, the world has turned increasingly to ecommerce for both business and consumer shipments. Warehouses can barely keep up with the demand.
In order to ship goods as quickly as possible, it’s important to put into place every resource at your disposal. We trust that these three warehouse management tips will help you with better, faster, and more efficient fulfillment.
- Better warehouse management starts with improved layout
One of the first tips is to examine your current warehouse layout. It’s important to maximize every square foot and to minimize the number of steps workers take. The fewer steps they take from picking to packing, the faster they can push orders out the door.
Optimize your warehouse layout by grouping products often sold together in bins or shelves nearby so picking is faster. Move your best sellers closest to the packing area. Consider automating picking, with software solutions that push orders to handheld devices that can be easily carried throughout the warehouse.
As you would move fast-selling items closer to the packing station, it’s important to move slow sellers or out of season items away from the packing area. Keep aisles free from forklifts, empty cartons, and rolling carts that can slow down workers or create safety hazards.
Consider other ways to improve your warehouse’s footprint. Vertical shelves can maximize warehouse space by stacking items to the ceiling. With the right equipment, higher stacking won’t be a challenge.
- Automate warehouse systems
Many common warehouse systems can be automated. One warehouse manager chose to automate the lights. He set motion detectors throughout the warehouse so the lights would turn on and off automatically when workers moved into each aisle. This innovation saved both money and time because workers no longer had to turn lights on and off.
It may sound silly, but little things like automating light switches do add up. Other automation steps may include software that arranges picking by aisle, so products can be picked more efficiently and later assembled into orders.
The key to warehouse automation is to understand first why you’re automating, then to phase in solutions that make the most sense. Having all warehouse processes documented is the first step. Once you know all the processes in your warehouse, you can search for automation solutions for each one as needed.
- Ask warehouse staff for input
The best information and ideas come not from the top but from the workers themselves. People who work directly with your current warehouse setup and systems know them the best. Ask them for their input on how to improve efficiency.
Ask your workers about potential bottlenecks in shipping, receiving, returns, or fulfillment. What areas can they address themselves to improve efficiency? Many of the best ideas are with your employees just waiting to be implemented. Listen first, then consider carefully which of their ideas can be implemented.
The Right Warehouse Automation Software Helps, Too
The right warehouse automation software can also improve efficiencies. On premises and cloud distribution and warehouse management systems seamlessly integrate with the top accounting and ERP packages. With the right software at your disposal, you’ll find many ways to improve efficiency and ship orders with accuracy and speed.
Mindover Software Consulting
At Mindover Software, we understand the challenges faced by manufacturers and distributors. We’d be happy to help you get improve your warehouse management systems. You may contact us online or call 512-990-3994 to learn more about our software and services.