In a warehouse, effectiveness is rarely a problem for workers and management. Success is simply a matter of doing a few key functions consistently over a long period of time. The main problem that most warehouses face is improving their efficiency. This refers to getting more of the right things done within the same time period.
Whether it is shipping out more products or reducing the number of workplace injuries that workers face, it requires a company-wide initiative from all workers and a focused effort toward accountability.With that being said, improving warehouse efficiency does not have to be a demanding chore that proves to be tedious. There are some simple things that companies can put in place to achieve this goal:
With that being said, improving warehouse efficiency does not have to be a demanding chore that proves to be tedious. There are some simple things that companies can put in place to achieve this goal:
Organization Is Key
An efficient warehouse operation begins with how things are organized, stored, and labeled. Everything, from shipments to warehouse tools, needs to have a pre-defined location where it can easily be found at all times. All it takes to achieve this step is to devise an organizational system that all employees can follow and refer to.
If this sounds like too much work, consider the consequences of being disorganized. Orders might be sent out later, which can lead to lost money. A worker might need to make unnecessary trips in order to deliver something or operate in a workstation that is not conducive to the specific task that needs to be done.
As a result, there is a higher chance of this same worker experiencing a workplace injury that leaves them unable to work. Someone needs to replace them immediately, and all of these last-minute efforts will only waste time and money.
Use Fewer Standard Packaging Containers
It is tempting to use hundreds of types of packaging containers in order to export products. However, this is a largely inefficient practice that serves no real benefit. Upper-level management is faced with too many choices, and it becomes tempting to constantly switch their choice of container. When this gets carried down to the workers in the warehouse, it is more time that must be spent accounting for every single feature.
The efficient way to tackle this problem would be to limit yourself to three standard packaging containers that can be used for the majority of products that the warehouse handles. Orders are put together faster, and freight expenses are consequently lowered.
Automation Is In!
There is no way of getting around the fact that workers are going to have to walk and move products around from one place to another. But should this tedious labor be done for every single product? There are likely automated solutions that can reduce the amount of physical labor necessary and save a lot of time. Solutions such as conveyance are being implemented to make warehouses far more efficient.
Sequence Orders and Operations Using Software
Technology is starting to become an asset for warehouses. Orders can be organized in numerous ways, and their delivery status can be reliably tracked. Operations can be tracked in real-time and upper-level workers can see exactly what is happening at any given moment in time. When everyone is trained to properly use and read the software, it makes daily operations far smoother.
Improve Waste Management Practices
Although waste cannot be avoided, there are practices that can be implemented to reduce the amount of waste produced and, therefore, reduce the amount of time that needs to be spent managing the waste. Whether it is through using spill control devices or finding eco-friendly ways to perform certain operations, you can spend less time managing waste and more time shipping orders.
As you can see, improving warehouse efficiency does not have to be a complex and costly process. You only have to tweak a few key things in your warehouse to see a massive change. Take one change at a time, implement it fully and move on to the next. Your workers and your bottom line will thank you for it.