How many people in a single supply chain depend on your warehouse management, including your own organization? When it comes to growing margins and optimizing logistics, it’s crucial to look at areas where your warehouse could be improving efficiency and cutting costs — a win-win for everyone.
Outdated and costly practices within your warehouse mean your customers don’t get their product as quickly. This could be a profit-buster in the age of lightning-fast delivery from eCommerce giants. Take a look around; could you be throwing money away?
Design Your Warehouse for Success
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when your warehouse layout has some thought behind it, you’re building a foundation that you can build a scalable, cost-efficient management strategy on. Create a blueprint that allows for efficient equipment use and navigation, ultimately making it quick work to access the inventory to fulfill customer orders.
Ditch The Paper in Your Warehouse
If you’re still carrying around a clipboard with a pen, it’s time for an upgrade. Although paper can provide some serious familiarity, it’s prime breeding ground for clerical errors. It’s also nearly impossible to keep up with a paper trail in real time, something that data-tracking software can easily do. Use barcodes and scanning tech to remove opportunities to make costly inventory mistakes as items come and go from your warehouse, boosting transparency and accountability.
Integrate your systems
Upgrading warehouse management tech is a smart move, but that often leaves you using multiple systems at once. Ensure they can all work together to give you a comprehensive picture of the current state of business. Keep this idea of integration in mind when upgrading systems or shopping for new ones. Transferring data by hand-keying can add to the risk of errors and decrease overall efficiency, both of which will cost you.
Get Inventory Control of Your Warehouse
One of the most valuable tech tools with some of the highest ROI for your warehouse is a comprehensive inventory control system. This takes an already-optimized space into the stratosphere by making it easy for every team member to get an overview of what’s in the warehouse. Prioritize this upgrade if you’re looking to streamline operations, cut costs, and boost efficiency on the floor and off.
Streamline Your Warehouse Storage
Even warehouses can have back rooms to store extra inventory that doesn’t need to be a part of the daily workflow. Invest in high quality racks and shelving that keep workers and items safe from unintentional damage. Writing inventory off as a loss is never fun for any business, and mitigating the risk that something can happen to items waiting to be sold is important for any brand’s bottom line.
Manage Task Management
Beyond organizing a warehouse and investing in tech, how you process orders can be a huge drain on your budget. The more time spent fulfilling, packing, and replenishing means the more money spent on labor costs — a number that rises dramatically without efficiency in place. Use task management software and other workflow tools to create a system that maximizes manpower to improve overall efficiency.
Upgrade Your Warehouse Equipment
But wait — doesn’t that cost money? Yes, new warehouse equipment can be an upfront cost, but if you’re constantly spending money to repair machinery you use every day (like forklifts) you could be spending more than it would take to buy something new. On top of that, when your equipment is down, your bottom line suffers. When you do decide to upgrade, ensure that your machinery is equipped with tech tools that can help modernize your warehouse.
Maintain Your Industrial Equipment
This is another obvious tip, but it bears repeating. Keeping up with regular maintenance of your equipment and the building itself means your facility management team can spot small issues before they become costly. Machines need regular service appointments to keep them running in a way that supports the growth of your supply chain.
Protect Your Best Assets — Employees
Research is beginning to show the growing importance of employee engagement as it relates to overall company productivity. This culture can be fostered from the boardroom to the warehouse floor and everywhere in between. Part of keeping employees happy is keeping them safe by placing a focus on giving them tools like equipment training and a safe and healthy work environment.
Ready to see how your warehouse could be saving money? Develop a culture that promotes safety, productivity, and the value of efficiency and you could cut costs and boost margins. Get in touch with our team to talk more about a total warehouse transformation!