Minimizing inefficiencies is a goal of warehouse management teams everywhere. Increasing warehouse productivity has benefits for the bottom line, customer satisfaction, accuracy and many other parts of your operations. Here are five factors to consider if you want to strengthen warehouse efficiency.
1. Automating Processes
If you want to boost efficiency, automation is probably at the top of your list. You don’t need to invest in a fleet of robots to create a more automated warehouse, but inventory and order management software are both essential.
An inventory management program can provide accurate, real-time updates on your products, so you can always see stock levels and integrate them with other programs. Order management software can link up to your inventory system and automatically adjust stock counts as orders are fulfilled. Other components that offer warehouse improvements include barcode management for automatic identification and significant gains in speed.
2. Organizing the Facility
A messy warehouse is more than an eyesore. It also creates safety hazards and a frustrating work environment. Make sure your shelving and storage systems make sense and are clearly labeled for easy identification. You should aim to reduce travel time and increase the ease of access to items. A clean warehouse is essential, so stick to a regular cleaning schedule and create a culture of organization. Remember that organization is also a key component of safety on the job.
Don’t forget the importance of the items themselves — it may be more efficient to place your bestsellers at eye-level or put items frequently purchased together in close proximity. ABC Analysis and Lean Organization are excellent methods commonly used to improve warehouse efficiency.
3. Tracking Metrics
Businesses run on numbers, so you need a way to track your improvements. You can gather metrics and conduct audits through warehouse management programs. They will automatically pull the necessary numbers, keeping you from wasting time on spreadsheets. In addition to tracking your changes, you can use these analytics for forecasting measures and checking progress against key performance indicators.
4. Empowering Employees
Workers are the powerhouse of inventory management, so it’s critical that they have all the necessary resources, like quality training and a safe and positive work environment. For added motivation and loyalty, consider offering incentives for exceptional performance. It’s also worth creating a company culture that emphasizes safety, productivity, communication and a positive attitude.
5. Other Resources, Approaches and Technologies
There are many examples of technology and process improvements that can help address warehouse inefficiencies. Consider adopting new resources or approaches to warehouse management such as:
- Real-time location systems, which use tags to monitor real-time locations.
- Third-party logistics, for assistance getting your products to the customer.
- Omnichannel fulfillment centers, in which a distribution center covers orders across multiple channels for more flexibility.
How Finale Inventory Can Help
Finale Inventory offers many resources that are perfect for reducing warehouse inefficiencies. One of its primary benefits is through inventory and order management, which can help you automate parts of your warehouse. The program also offers efficiency-boosting features like barcode generation, auditing, reporting and analytics, and many third-party integrations.