1. Optimize the space in your warehouse
Storage can take up a large part of your precious warehouse space, especially if are storing outwards instead of upwards. Make the best use of vertical space and invest in stacking storage that helps you save on expansion costs. It is also important to focus on how you are storing your products within these storage systems. Make sure that smaller items are placed in bins rather than wasting space on large pallet racks. This will not only maximize space in the warehouse but within each storage system too.
2. Invest in product transfer systems
In a warehouse, there is constant movement of both people and products. Often, the movement of heavy products to another part of the warehouse is required. For this, it is crucial that your warehouse is equipped with the right product transfer systems so that warehouse employees are not moving these materials themselves. Investing in systems such as conveyors and transfer or tow carts can help reduce any employee injuries and will speed up processes within your warehouse.
3. Have a maintenance plan
Warehouses contain many large systems and pieces of equipment that help run the business. Like any other piece of machinery, these need continuous maintenance to ensure they perform at their best. For every machine, it is important that you have a record of the last and next scheduled maintenance. This way, you are constantly keeping your machines healthy, instead of waiting for a problem to occur before taking action. In the long run, your warehouse will be saving time and money.
4. Make time for continuous improvement
In order to improve your warehouse processes, it is important to track how you are doing. Take note of critical measures, such as cost per product produced, or costs of errors as well as average time spend on a certain task. By tracking these measures, you now have a basis for improvement. You are now able to pin point problematic processes and plan for improvement. However, make sure you are also tracking the improvement process to ensure that your plan is successful. Continuous improvement is the formula for success.
5. Improve automation
As technology continues to evolve, it is crucial that your company is up to date with the latest processes. With increasing automation, it may be advantageous for your company to explore further automation processes to remain relevant in the industry. Certain new automation processes can help save time and money, benefiting your company in the long run. At the same time, it is important that you eliminate any current automation processes that are not benefiting your warehouse. While automation can do wonders to your warehouse processes, the wrong kind can put a damper on them. Therefore, it is important to analyze your company to be aware of exactly what you need.
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(2017). Five simple ways to improve warehouse efficiency – Supply Management. Cips.org. Retrieved 9 June 2017.