Warehouse operations can be a challenge. Warehouses need to be well managed, because they have potential to turn into chaos and complicate/slow down your business processes. It’s important to be organized and have set processes in order for your business to operate smoothly and efficiently. Managers should consistently be looking for ways to grow and improve current processes. Here are seven warehouse management tips for improving your business operations.
Warehouse Management Tips
1. Don’t Mix SKUs
Firstly, don’t mix different SKUs in one bin or pallet location. This will only slow your order picking process. Keeping track of inventory that stores different SKUs together can present a challenge. Searching through a bin for a specific SKU can be a tedious task and a waste of time. Overall, it is an inefficient way of storing materials in your warehouse.
2. Make Warehouse Safety a Priority
Keep all of your employees informed about warehouse safety procedures, and have a designated team member or manager ensure that necessary safety procedures are performed at all times. Making warehouse safety a priority will help prevent injuries to your employees and keep warehouse processes functioning smoothly.
3. Keep Aisles Clear
Optimize the safety of your employees and materials. Keep your aisles clear of excess pallets, boxes, and other materials that could get in the way of forklift traffic around your warehouse.
4. Implement a Variety of Solutions
If you have mixed inventory or products that move faster than others, it’s likely that one type of storage system will not be the most efficient solution for your warehouse procedures. Implement a variety of types of storage systems—selective racking, boltless shelving, carton flow racking, mezzanines, etc. You can talk to a racking expert about what types of racking and shelving would best fit your needs for what you’re storing. Additionally, consider investing in different types of equipment—pallet jacks, forklift trucks, dock levelers—try to find the most efficient solutions to your warehouse problems to make your processes run as smoothly as possible.
5. Analyze and Measure KPI’s
KPIs (key performance indicators): measures how effectively a business is achieving their set key goals and objectives.
A good manager consistently measures KPI results of current warehouse processes and is always looking for areas to improve performance. As technology develops, continually implement more modernized processes into your warehouse. There are a variety of technologies available that can provide warehouse data, metrics, and faster and more efficient warehouse processes.
6. Be Open to Change
Being open to implementing change is essential for your warehouse to stay productive and for your business to continue to grow. Don’t just do something certain ways because that’s what you’ve always done. This will set you behind competitors who are adapting and implementing new and improved processes into their warehouse.
7. Reduce Costs and Simplify Processes
Look for ways to cut costs in your warehouse—is your building energy efficient? Don’t waste money on utility costs that you don’t need. Utilize your cubic square footage to avoid having to purchase more. Additionally, don’t over-complicate your warehouse procedures—make sure tasks are clearly assigned and that all employees know which tasks they are assigned to. Having clearly defined procedures will keep everyone on the same page and improve communication in your warehouse.