Warehouse efficiency is extremely important for the sake of distributing products in a timely manner and should be a top priority of the warehouse manager. Warehouse efficiency is not only critical in making shipping quick and accurate; it also ensures maximum productivity while incurring minimal costs and significantly cutting the time needed to fulfill orders. With so many moving goods and the constant fluctuations in demand and other changing dynamics, increasing warehouse efficiency is often easier said than done. With that said, it may come as a surprise how many simple adjustments can be made to positively impact your firm’s bottom line. Regardless of the scale of your warehouse operations, anything from reconfiguring your industrial racking systems to properly training your employees can make all the difference in your warehouse’s efficiency levels. Read on as we take a look at small changes you can make in your warehouse to promote more workplace productivity.
Analyze Your Product Usage Patterns
A great place to start improving your warehouse’s efficiency is by analyzing your product usage patterns. This means that you should store popular goods that move the fastest near the front of the warehouse for easy access. This enables a faster, more efficient picking and stocking process. Another way to optimize product placement is to store products that are often sold together near one another. Furthermore, you can create a separate designated area for items that move at a slower rate to avoid interference with the movement of other goods.
Keep Your Warehouse Layout in Check
Having industrial racking systems that complement your warehouse’s layout can indeed work wonders for improving warehouse efficiency. However, poor management of these racking systems can quickly turn your once well-organized workspace into a disjointed mess, which can negatively impact your employees’ productivity and cause safety issues. Keep an eye on your warehouse shelving and layout by educating your employees about functional areas, material flow into those areas, and where you can move certain items. Having an efficient warehouse means ensuring that your employees are following the correct procedures and using the most efficient routes possible.
Optimize Vertical Space
Rather than expanding at ground level, consider building up. By adding taller storage units and using more specialized lifting equipment to pick and store items, you can take advantage of storing more items per square foot. In addition, it important to consider what types of industrial racking systems are most appropriate for your warehouse. For example, storing smaller items on pallet racking wastes space and makes it easy to misplace products, so you should use a variety of shelving for different items to ensure your warehouse space is being maximized. Optimizing your available space can speed up the picking process, which boosts productivity.
Take Advantage of Technology
The implementation of warehouse technology provides more visibility through data, which allows workers to track real-time averages and variations in inventory. Options are plentiful and include bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), WMS, and so on. These technologies are extremely helpful in increasing productivity and improving accuracy. Using barcode or RFID readers can track products and orders while also reducing picking errors. WMS can improve efficiency by suggesting the best routes and picking methods for operators. Moreover, the system provides automated pick lists that can be sent to mobile readers and devices in an effort to eliminate mistakes and reduce wasted time and paper.
Train Your Employees
Ensuring that your staff is properly trained to handle industrial machines is essential in preventing accidents and streamlining processes. Putting your employees through a strict training process before they begin operating any piece of equipment and offering professional guidance if they have questions is a vital part of maintaining a safe and efficient warehouse. Even the most cutting-edge technologies lack value if your workers do not understand them. Keep all of your staff members on track with any updated system features by utilizing robust training programs, such as the OSHA training offered by Darr Equipment.
Be Open to Feedback
A great way to improve warehouse efficiency is by getting feedback from your employees. Your staff should know better than anyone else how your warehouse best operates, as they have been immersed in the space and worked the floors. Therefore, they are in the best position to advise you on how to improve efficiency. An added benefit to asking for worker insights is that it provides employees with a sense of importance, which boosts morale and leads to a more productive team.
If you are unsure about how to best optimize your warehouse’s layout, how to properly educate your employees, or how to best organize your products, contact us at Darr Equipment today. We have a whole slew of warehouse solutions and we offer extensive training for your employees to ensure that your operations can reach maximum efficiency.