The ability to move inventory in and out of a warehouse efficiently and quickly is essential to maintaining profitability. Time lost in the warehouse is money lost from the bottom line. These five tips can help maintain efficient operation for your warehouse and preserve your company’s profitability.
Creating Good Working Conditions
Warehouse staff can only work efficiently if the warehouse accommodates them. Shelving and racks should be properly spaced and built only to a height that easily reached with forklifts or steps. High bay LED lights should be used to ensure that personnel can easily read labels on cartons and other packaging. Insulation may be necessary to dampen sound so that workers can communicate easily.
Maintaining Consistent Practices
Workers often create their own shortcuts for saving time. This works fine for individual personnel, but if someone else has to work in that area temporarily, it can cause confusion. Standardizing processes for moving inventory in and out will reduce confusion. If the staff has good ideas for streamlining processes, make them standard practice for everyone.
Keep an Eye on Upkeep
Failure of shelves, racks, and forklifts has made for some entertaining online videos, but these incidents are no laughing matter. Keeping equipment in good working condition reduces the chances of worker injuries, lost time in cleaning up messes, and lost revenue from damaged inventory. Institute regular schedules for maintenance and require inspections of racks anytime they are empty.
Many warehouse managers pride themselves on an encyclopedic memory of where things are, how many of them are there, and how long they’ve been there. With today’s technological tools, this is no longer necessary. Error-free barcode scanners and inventory systems with memory backup will provide your warehouse with fail-safe mechanisms for tracking what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Always Aim for Safety
Preventing workplace injuries is always important, and warehouses are notorious for causing them. Keep all walking surfaces dry and free of clutter. Require strict adherence to safety practices for driving forklifts, climbing ladders, handling heavy packages, and other dangerous work. Keep fire alarms and extinguishers in good working order. Observe all fire code requirements for exits, storage of hazardous materials, and even outside needs like access to fire hydrants and sprinkler connections
The warehouse is the hands and feet of a company. While sales staff and supply managers are ordering things in and out, they assume that the warehouse will be prepared to handle them. With these ideas in place, the warehouse will come through.