Warehouse logistics are paramount to the smooth running of operations. From worker productivity to keeping costs to a minimum, logistics play an important role in the way your warehouse is managed. There are many ways in which warehouse logistics can be improved and we’ll be outlining them in this article for you.
Optimise warehouse space for maximum efficiency
Maximising your warehouse space is imperative to ensure efficiency and productivity throughout your warehouse. Opting to have racking and mezzanine floors constructed can help you to use the space you have to its full potential. Using floor-to-ceiling storage can be incredibly beneficial, especially when partnered with the right equipment.
Use reach trucks, forklifts and scissor lifts to help employees access stock stored higher up and house products in specific areas that workers will easily be able to find. For example, best-selling items should be easy to get hold of and stored somewhere safe. This will prevent any harm coming to your employees as well as mitigating any damage to the products you’re storing.
It would also be advantageous to group certain items into specific categories, either by industry, sector or relevancy. For example, plumbing parts and components should be stored separately from electrical tools and equipment. This will make items easier to store, re-stock and access, ensuring maximum productivity and ultimate warehouse efficiency.
Ensure staff are fully trained in procedures and operations
It’s important that your workers are trained to the highest possible standards to ensure both their safety and the safety of others. It’s also imperative that your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are regularly reviewed and that staff are always kept up to date with any changes in order to be in line with specific processes, all key to achieving mutual goals and expectations.
Things you could consider reviewing and updating accordingly include:
- The way in which information is shared
- Publishing regular reports outlining warehouse operations and activities
- Warehouse developments
- Packaging concepts
- Giving sales updates
- Keeping up to date with industry market trends and behaviours
- Setting KPI’s
- Monitoring the way in which processes are performing and identifying where they need improving
- Putting a method in place for checking orders – this will help to minimise human error
Use technology to your advantage
Modern technology can be incredibly advantageous to the smooth-running of warehouse operations. Over the years, there have been many ways in which state-of-the-art equipment has benefited the industry, all with the potential to help improve your warehouse logistics if you haven’t already made use of the technology available.
In a bid to improve efficiency and productivity, you could implement the following:
- Tracking software – this will enable you to easily find out how much stock you have, where it’s been transported from and where it’s going to. This will equally benefit those who are purchasing the products from you as they’ll be able to trace the items from the warehouse to their front door
- Social media – this can be beneficial to customer satisfaction, especially. You’ll be able to respond to queries and reviews in a timely manner, putting customers at the forefront of your work, whether it be business-to-consumer or business-to-business transactions. This will also enable you to make announcements and give updates in real time and without delay
- Barcode scanning and RFID – once implemented, this can help to reduce levels of manual labour throughout your warehouse, particularly when picking stock and carrying out analytical tasks. Data-driven approaches can also account for the whereabouts of the products you store as well as allowing for forward-planning and a reduction in lead times
Be organised and plan operations accordingly
Organisation is the key to the success of any business, particularly when running a bustling warehouse brimming with a variety of products. Keeping on top of the stock you have, where it is and how much of it is going out is an imperative part of planning and organising warehouse operations.
Not only will you have a tidy, well-stocked warehouse that’s also safe to manoeuvre confidently around, but it’ll also help to increase customer satisfaction. Knowing exactly how much stock you have and knowing where everything is will ensure consumers receive their goods on time, safe in the knowledge that the products they’ve ordered are in stock.
In addition, it’ll help to keep costs to a minimum. Being aware of exactly how much stock you have and how fast it sells will prevent you from over ordering, therefore keeping unnecessary expenses down. It’s also important that employees are aware of stock levels and how to check them. If they aren’t, then further training would be beneficial so as to save time and money in the long term.
Learn from your competitors
Keeping an eye on trends often means looking at what others are doing and whether or not those approaches are successful. Identifying popular processes can help fellow warehouse owners learn and progress in the industry, something which has proven to be highly advantageous for many business owners.
The trends and processes you could learn from include:
- Popular software implementation and use
- Effective systems to manage operations
- Efficient, worthwhile training programmes for employees
- Incentives for workers to continue in the business and for new workers to join the team
- Security systems and operations to keep staff and stock safe
- Social media campaigns and the way in which they interact with customers online