How to Improve Warehouse Management: Start with Warehouse Efficiency
Looking for tips on how to improve warehouse management? We’ve put together five steps gleaned from many different types of warehouses to help you manage them better, faster, and more efficiently. These tips improve efficiency and help your warehouse manage inventory better.
5 Tips to an Efficient Warehouse
The best warehouses fulfill orders quickly, but they also receive inventory and process it just as efficiently. They never appear to sweat the typical ups and downs of seasonal demands. Here’s how to improve warehouse management and efficiency.
Invest in employee training
By “invest,” we mean invest time, not necessarily money. New employees need to learn so many things: safety in and around equipment, how to pick and pack efficiently, what to do with returns, and so on.
Do you have documented processes for every action in the warehouse? If not, spend time documenting the best practices your warehouse uses for critical tasks. Create a training resource and consider making videos (your smartphone camera will do just fine) of how your warehouse team expects orders to be picked, what to do with broken items and returns, and so on. Then, make sure personnel have time set aside to actually participate in training—and test them afterwards on their knowledge.
Don’t forget current warehouse staff, too. They may benefit from all sorts of refresher training, especially safety training.
Use every inch of warehouse space
Another best practice when you’re looking at how to improve warehouse management is finding innovative ways to stock more items in the same square footage. Many warehouse managers think they need additional space when, in fact, they need to learn how to better utilize the space they have at hand.
Consider adding shelves, stacking bins, or otherwise reconfiguring the warehouse to better utilize space. Some warehouses arrange products with the top 20% of inventory best-sellers closest to the packing area to minimize back-and-forth for the picking team. Look for creative ways to use the space you have better, to improve efficiency.
Schedule receiving hours
Receiving is often the bottleneck in many warehouses. To avoid incoming shipments from getting backlogged on the receiving deck, schedule times when your warehouse can receive shipments from vendors. Then, assign personnel to handle inbound shipments during those items. This will clear them from the receiving area efficiently on a daily basis.
Review warehouse systems periodically
Review your existing warehouse systems periodically. Set aside time to walk through processes, and speak with your warehouse team to learn if they have ideas to improve efficiently. They are, after all, the experts on what needs to get done.
Go lean with warehouse inventory
You want to have plenty of items in stock to fulfill customer orders but having too much of any item isn’t a smart move. Not only does it pack the warehouse too tightly with goods, but it ties up much needed capital into inventory assets. Consider going lean with your warehouse inventory, ordering only when critical items reach a low threshold in the inventory system.
Well-Run Warehouses Have the Right Software
Another reason why some warehouses run smoothly and others struggle is the software behind the inventory management system. Whether you need on-premises or cloud software, the right warehouse management software and inventory management system can help you make great strides toward improving efficiency.
Mindover Software is a software reseller with a broad range of accounting, ERP, finance, customer relationship management, and other software products. For more information, please contact us or call 512-990-3994.