Productivity and warehouse efficiency go hand in hand for any successful business.
When you’re quiet or your business is still in it’s early stages, it’s easier to keep up with orders without any strict processes in place. However, once the orders begin to flow and things get busy, it’s far too easy for things to slip between the cracks and suddenly orders are taking much longer than they should to reach your customers.
Here are our top five practical ways to help improve your warehouse’s picking and packing flow that you can start implementing today.
1. Make it Safe
Accidents and injuries in the warehouse are not something we often plan for, however they can end up costing businesses an a huge amount of time and money. It’s why it’s so important to actively improve the safety of your warehouse before something goes wrong.
A regular warehouse safety review can help you and your team identify any potential hazards. Once the dangers have been highlighted, you and your team can take the steps required to eliminate or reduce the risks.
2. Keep it clean
Any products, equipment and rubbish left lying about are major obstacle for forklifts and pedestrians, making each customer’s order take much longer than it should to be picked.
Avoid delays in the picking process by ensuring aisles are clear and stock is put away. Creating a designated location for all items in the warehouse also eliminates the need for staff to search for what they need each day.
3. Review your processes
The best process for your warehouse today, may not be the same process that worked last year or one that will work three years from now. Nor will the same process that works for one warehouse, necessarily work for another. Every business is unique.
It’s so important to take the time to step back and look at whether your current process is still working for you. Break down each step to identify ways of improving the overall process. Never settle for, ‘That’s how we always do it’.
4. Assess your stock
Do you have old stock taking up valuable space in your warehouse? These items could be clogging up the flow in your warehouse, and limiting the number of new and more profitable items you are able to bring in.
Now’s the time to look at marketing tactics to help clear these older items from the racks, and start making better use of the pallet locations.
5. Create a logical order
You can help speed up the picking process by making it easier for warehouse staff to navigate the warehouse and locate products. When each item is in a logical pallet location, your staff won’t need to spend as much time finding each product for an order.
Start by identifying your fastest moving items and relocate them to the easiest access point in your warehouse. Think about how often you need to access a product to help find the best locations for them in your warehouse.
Remember: Improving warehouse efficiency isn’t a ‘set and forget’ exercise. Ensure you regularly review your warehouse processes and repeat these simple steps if necessary.
For more ways to improve the efficiency of your warehouse, talk to us – click here.
To download the infographic, click here.