Nowadays, more and more customers are demanding a speedy delivery. Especially with the rise of online orders, warehouses have to keep up. This can be achieved by improving efficiency such that the warehouse’s flow of work and command are more streamlined. When this is done, the rewards are greater when you have a consistent flow of satisfied returning clients.
There are many facets of warehouse efficiency which you can apply, including automation, reducing waste, and optimizing workflows. While a warehouse may seem like a plain storage facility with shelves, pallets, and cantilever racks, it’s not as simple as it looks. For a warehouse to function effectively, it’d go through a complex network of many parts simultaneously moving from one end to another.
Give your warehouse productivity a boost with these ways:
1. Maximize All Available Space
If you feel like you’re running short on warehouse space, the best thing to do isn’t to extend your warehouse’s footprint, but to maximize the available space you have. This means making the most of the vertical space in your current warehouse.
There are many ways you can maximize your warehouse’s current area. Here are some of them:
- Use various types of shelving for different materials, so you’re not wasting vertical space;
- Use standardized bins, so your shelves are orderly and neat;
- Re-check your aisle widths, so you’re sure you aren’t wasting space that could’ve been used for a few more racks;
- Assess your supply storage, so you can avoid overstocking inventory, which means having a lot of wasted space.
2. Introduce Incentive Pay
Employees that are well-recognized with the right incentives tend to do more when they feel their efforts are valued. So, if it’s been a long time since you’re last able to do so, it’s not too early to start thinking of an incentive pay scheme beyond the year-end or Christmas bonus. While this may seem like an added expense for your warehouse operations, it’s one with a good return when the profits are higher because your labor team is more productive.
Along that line, you have to be sure you’re starting the right incentive pay scheme, or else your efforts and resources are going to be wasted. Here are some tips to guide you:
- Take note of your reasons for introducing incentive pays as each warehouse have their own needs. These include reducing employee absenteeism, increasing productivity, and reducing the need for overtime work.
- Keep it simple. You have to make it easy for your employees to understand how the incentive pay scheme is being computed, so they can also make computations on their own if they’re keen on achieving the quotas to gain.
- Base the incentives on performance. A good incentive pay scheme should be performance-based to encourage your employees to do even better.
3. Use A Warehouse Management Technology
Technology is on your side, and you’re going to miss out against other competitive warehouses if you don’t make use of a warehouse management technology. This refers to a software application that supports your warehouse’s day-to-day operations. If there are any manual tasks you’re previously doing that can now be automated, then doing so can improve your warehouse’s efficiency to a great extent.
If you’re on the fence on whether it’s worth investing in one for your warehouse, here are convincing reasons why you should:
- It results in a faster inventory turnover rate when you have a clearer and more defined understanding of your required inventory levels based on seasonal customer demand levels.
- It gives you better stock control, so you’re not wasting space on keeping inventory that doesn’t even end up being purchased by your target customers.
- It improves labor productivity as employees can also be inspired to work when they’re using the latest systems and techniques in warehouse management.
- It improves customer service when your customers are satisfied with faster service and delivery as automation can speed up your operations.
As you can see, a successful warehouse is one with a perfect marriage of productive and satisfied workers, automated systems, proper equipment, and operations. It takes a lot to get orders from point A to point B with no error, no spoilage, or no breakage of the items.
Most importantly, time is of the essence. The faster you can satisfy orders, the more you can do in a day and the higher is your profit-earning potential. There’s no perfect time but now to start implementing the operational shifts for a more successful workplace. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you improve warehouse efficiency.