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6 Helpful Tips on Efficient Warehouse Management

October 16, 2019 warehousing

When running a warehouse, it’s important to make sure it’s being managed efficiently. The state of a warehouse can make or break a business. An unorganized warehouse can make employees’ jobs un-necessarily challenging and miss out on potential sales. 

Keep reading to undercover essential tips for successful and efficient warehouse management and shipping.

1. Keep An Organized Warehouse Management 

A surefire way to destroy warehouse efficiency is with a poorly organized warehouse. A warehouse should have a thoughtful floor plan that is easy for employees to navigate. Space should be organized so staff members can easily access packages and products without getting into each other’s way. 

Employees will often need to process different orders at the same time. Which is why it’s key to space out the floor so employees can do this without getting into each other’s way. Often today’s warehouses are bigger and more spacious than those of the past. 

It’s key to keep items clearly labeled and organized in a way that makes sense to employees. Packages can be grouped by their destination, contents or point of origin. Be sure this layout makes sense to employees, so they can quickly find what they need without looking at a complex spreadsheet.  

2. Prioritize Fast-Moving Products

While organizing a warehouse, be sure that each element of the new layout favors products that move the fastest. Bestsellers won’t be on the shelves for that long, so they should be in a place where employees can quickly and easily access these items.

Don’t hide bestsellers all the way in the back, this makes the warehouse organization inefficient. Put the fastest selling items in the front of the warehouse, low to the ground and close to the loading dock. 

Keep the warehouse’s layout focused on moving better-performing items and keep the less popular products in the back. Rate the inventory’s products based on how often employees need to retrieve them. This should inform the layout of the facility. 

3. Automate the Data Collection Process

Warehouses should be run with a focus on the data. The guesswork of inventory can be taken out with the help of digital technology, as employees can scan products at every step along the way.  

A warehouse should collect as much data on products as possible. This data should include where the item is coming from, what condition it is in when it will arrive, where it’s going and when is it set to leave. 

This data should be used to keep tabs on the location of products. The exact location of every product should be able to be known at any given moment. 

To improve efficiency, the data collection process will need to be automated as much as possible. Meaning staff should be able to automatically retrieve this data as they unload and scan items that are arriving.

Radiofrequency identification tags and handheld scanners can simplify this process.  Automating the collection of data can also reduce the chance of costly mistakes such as data entry that isn’t accurate. 

The Warehouse automation technology has already grown to a $1.9 billion industry. It’s expected that this industry will grow to $22 billion by 2021.

Warehouses that want to stay efficient and cutting edge should invest in automation. This allows these facilities to have all the necessary information without any additional steps. 

4. Inventory Management Software

Once data is collected on the shipping containers, and products are being moved in and out of the facility, time can be saved with inventory management software. This software can help define this data quickly and efficiently. 

This software allows users to see how many products are on the shelves,  as well as when shipments need to be sent out, and when new shipments are expected to arrive. This program syncs to data collection devices, which eliminates the concern of entering the same information twice.

There are certain types of software programs that can even anticipate future outcomes such as shortages of inventory shortages, delays with deliveries and or any other possible problems.

This software keeps a log of the history of the facilities operations. This log helps predict what will happen in the future. 

5. Save Time with Cross Docking

If a warehouse has fast-moving items, time can be saved with cross-docking. Instead of putting these fast moving items back on the shelf, only to have employees find them hours later. Cross-docking puts these popular items in a temporary staging area for inventory and scanning purposes. 

This temporary staging area makes the most sense close to the loading dock. When the items are ready for the next leg of the trip, employees can retrieve the items quickly. This way these products go out the door without the waste of time that is locating them items on the shelves. 

6. Increase Visibility with Better Lighting

This might seem obvious, but a well-lit warehouse is key. Not just in the overall space, but on shelves, so all items can be seen and easily grabbed. It’s common for warehouses to have tall ceilings, which makes it hard to efficiently light the space, especially in the shelving area. 

For speedy and efficient warehouse operations and management, employees should be able to see everything in the space clearly as they go about business. Staff members should be able to read the labels of containers with ease, without having to squint or second guess. 

Good lighting in a warehouse also helps employees stay awake, especially if they’re putting together a shipment in the middle of the night. Good lighting also keeps a warehouse safe, so everyone can see where they are going and what items they are handling. 

Improve Warehouse Management Today 

Making a warehouse more efficient, isn’t that challenging and it’s also crucial for business. Make a warehouse more efficient with better organization, lighting, and an investment in software, cross-docking, prioritizing fast moving products., and having an automated data collection process.

Once a warehouse is better managed and organized, the better business efficiency will be, and the happier the clients.