How to Run a More Efficient Warehouse
For any business that requires large amounts of inventory or supplies, the warehouse is a cornerstone of operations. Without a solid system and adequate organization, you can have a host of problems that affect other business functions. Below are some ways you can run a more efficient warehouse and keep your customers happy.
The first thing to address is the design of your warehouse layout. There should be enough space for workers to get in and out as needed without getting in one another’s way. Items that are top priority should be stored in a place that’s easily accessible. When it comes to receiving, there should be a large enough area for personnel to work and transport products to their intended location. If you’re dealing with limited space, you may need to brainstorm and experiment with a few layout options until you find the right fit.
Navigating your way through a maze of shelves and boxes can be disorienting without a proper identification method. That’s why it’s important to make use of a labeling system, so there’s never any confusion, and employees can quickly locate what they’re looking for. Color coding different sections of shelving and bins should streamline this even further.
Maximum visibility is important for locating items and also for safety reasons. That’s why it’s beneficial to replace outdated lighting with state-of-the-art, high-intensity fluorescent lights. These should give off plenty of light, even in out-of-the-way corners of your warehouse, so workers can always see what they’re doing. There can also be long-term financial benefits because these lights don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as traditional light bulbs.
Warehouse management system
Although it will require an initial investment, this type of system can dramatically improve your warehouse operations. A WMS will typically utilize a bar-code system so items can be scanned in once they’re received. Employees can then find their whereabouts, quantity, and any other information in real-time. As a result, you can save a lot of time when tracking products down, and team members can work on more important tasks. An added benefit is that a WMS will notify you whenever a certain item is running low so it can be reordered before you run out.