Tips for More Efficient Warehousing

If your business involves warehouse storage, you could be spending a lot more than you need and every company should be looking at ways to boost productivity and efficiency, while managing costs to an acceptable level. Of course, every warehouse works to a system and that should involve constant reviewing in order to improve efficiency and boost productivity and with that in mind, here are a few tips.

  • Carry out a needs assessment – If you would like to know how efficient your warehouse actually is, call in a specialist logistics consultant. They can evaluate your processes and with access to your logistics data, their team can put together a proposal that will improve the efficiency of your operation. Once you implement this, you should see the benefits in no time, plus the investment will pay dividends in the long term.
  • Create mezzanine floors – This means you are making good use of all available space and with affordable stair kits manufactured by Advantage Industries, you can gain safe access to these second levels. The supplier can custom fabricate the platform and the stairs and send it to you in kit form, which can be bolted together. You can gain a lot of temporary storage space with mezzanine flooring solutions; enlist the help of a commercial interior designer to find out how much space you can reclaim.
  • Minimise your inventory – You might think that holding a lot of stock is a good idea, yet research tells us that storing unnecessary inventory can limit your capabilities. One idea is to ask suppliers to deliver smaller quantities on a more frequent basis, while stock that moves slowly should be ordered in smaller quantities.
  • Consider automation – Many warehouses are already fully or partially automated and if you have yet to carry out a study, this is something to schedule as soon as possible. Yes, it would be a significant investment but one that will pay big dividends in the long run. You could call in a logistics specialist and ask them how far you can go with automation, then you can cost the operation to see if it is feasible.
  • Use the 5S system for workstations – Organising your workstations will certainly make your place of business more efficient. The 5S system is Sort; Set in order; Shine; Standardize and Sustain. These are strategies designed to keep the workstation uncluttered, reduce errors and speed up productivity. Click here for tips on how to make your business perform better.
  • Optimise labour efficiency – Generate picking plans that shorten the distance workers need to find products and prepare orders; products that are typically sold together should be stored in one area, which is close to the workstation.
  • Introduce automatic product tracking – If you have the ability to track products as they go through the logistics process, this will allow you to make changes that will speed up things. This greatly reduces search time and also an automated system eliminates human error. If you would like to learn more about automated product tracking, search with Google for a local specialist who can pay you a visit and show you what can be achieved.
  • Staff training – There is no substitute for employee training and if you want the best from your workers, you should contact a relevant HR agency and have them prepare a few staff training courses. Manual handling is certainly something to consider, as this will reduce staff injuries, as well as making the workplace a safer environment. Such an agency would have an extensive curriculum, especially if they work specifically in your sector.
  • Planning ahead – Obviously sales vary depending on the time of year and by using the data from the past 5 years, you should be able to plan accordingly. Automated ordering in advance is a great way to ensure that you don’t get caught out by a sales surge; have an inventory planning meeting and go through the entire coming year, using a large board to plot the data.
  • Review health & safety – This should be done on an annual basis in preparation for any government health & safety inspections; as you probably know, the Australian government takes health & safety very seriously and if your place of work complies with the regulations, you are reducing the risk of accidents and that has to be a good thing.

If you are looking for better performance from your warehousing operation, all of the above strategies can be used; call in a specialised logistics consultant and they can assess your operation and put forward a proposal to boost productivity.

Automation is the key to smooth logistics and warehousing and if you are still  using manual systems, perhaps it is time to look at automating some of  your processes.

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