A Comprehensive Guide on Improving the Efficiency & Productivity of Your Warehouse

The issue with many articles that offer advice on how to improve the overall efficiency of a warehouse is that statements such as “keep a closer eye on your inventory”

Recep Karaca
Recep Karaca
02 April 2024 Tuesday 17:04
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A Comprehensive Guide on Improving the Efficiency & Productivity of Your Warehouse

The issue with many articles that offer advice on how to improve the overall efficiency of a warehouse is that statements such as “keep a closer eye on your inventory” are too vague to actually make a practical and immediate difference.

It’s no secret that the smoother the daily operations of your warehouse, especially when applied to manufacturing and distribution companies, the more deliveries can be completed on time, the more productive your workers will be, and the more profits can be made.

With this in mind, here’s a practical and actionable comprehensive guide to improving warehouse operations.

Schedule Annual Reviews of the Floor Layout

Depending on the square footage of the space, your warehouse may seem as if it’s limited in terms of rearranging where and how the equipment, machinery and storage shelves, and racks are positioned.

However, even the tightest spaces can be streamlined and optimized to better reflect the needs of the business, and absolutely the best way to do this is to schedule regular reviews of the layout. Yearly reviews will make sure that, whether you have taken on a large regular contract or have switched to a particular niche in terms of the goods you distribute, you’re not operating from an inefficient basic layout.

Assess the Effectiveness of Your Stock Management

Sophisticated stock management is another savvy area which you can concentrate on, and it’s time to take an objective overview of just how productive your own warehouse handles, manages, and analyzes its stock.

Asking yourself the following questions will help:

  • Are you able to access accurate and real-time inventory counts at all times?
  • Are items that are low in stock replenished in a timely manner?
  • Are you able to locate a particular item quickly?
  • Are workers familiar with how to process new deliveries and shipments?

Update Key Storage Systems

One of the fundamental influential aspects of an efficient warehouse is your choice and usage of storage systems.

To make best use of the space available, your choice from the array of different types of storage systems should be centered around the organization and the layout of your warehouse’s floor plan. The best form of storage for your own company depends entirely on the nature of the products and goods that you deal with, for example, static shelving is the go-to choice for lightweight and easy-to-handle goods.

Larger warehouses that handle complicated shipments on a daily basis are more likely to benefit from pallet racking (namely drive-in racking, shuttle racking, and narrow aisle racking) and for a more high-tech option, wire partitions are effective temporary storage structures.

Invest in Leading Warehouse Management Software

If you’re not already familiar with warehouse management software, then you may already be at risk of falling short of your closest industry rivals. Warehouse management software is a multi-faceted solution to allow clear, insightful, and real-time analysis of your entire inventory, and means that you can manage the entire supply chain and fulfillment of your orders from the warehouse to the shelf and the consumer.

Just some of the huge number of benefits to investing in warehouse management software include the following:

  • The ability to match serial numbers of specific products with shipments and receipts
  • Additional technologies for automation in other areas of the business
  • Improved customer service levels due to more effective shipments
  • Lower core operating expenses
  • Traceable materials right across the supply chain

Motivate & Incentivize Your Workers 

Without a dedicated and hardworking team of workers on the warehouse floor, even a small and relatively simple order can become complicated and full of errors, which is why every member of your workforce should be highly trained, and they also need to remain motivated.

There are a number of proven-to-be effective methods of motivating people in this kind of work, with one of the most notable being gamification. Essentially, gamification represents the setting of specific and time-sensitive targets, often for a cash prize or a voucher, to encourage workers to work as fast and yet, as accurately, as possible.

Other methods of incentivization include encouraging accountability and ownership, cultivating a positive working culture, offering additional training courses, and the provision of more flexible shift patterns.