The constant cycle of fulfilling and sending out orders can quickly become a mindless rhythm, and when that happens, the lack of efficiency can slow down the operation to a sluggish crawl.
Keep your warehouse moving at a quick clip by making the most of the time you and your employees have in the day. The best practices below can get you started toward getting more done in less time.
1. Supply Only a Few Standard Shipping Containers
By having two to four shipping containers available (with the exception of special sizes for certain items) you’ll make it easier for pickers to fulfill orders quicker while slashing spend on freight and packaging. Fewer choices equals faster results in this case.
2. Optimize Popular Item Placement
Your biggest sellers should go closer to the shipping area to make them easily accessible and cut down on walking time for pickers. Putting them at a height between waist and shoulder level will make life easier for anyone pulling orders as well.
3. Work With Labor Management Software
If your operation sees a high volume of picks every day (as opposed to one where stock is moved more often with machines) then taking advantage of labor management software can help you allocate your people in the most efficient ways possible to the benefit of the business and employees.
4. Ensure Proper Lighting
Want an easy way to cut down on mistakes? Ensure that the types of lights in the warehouse clearly illuminate the stock on the shelves. If you make this change, it’s also a good time to implement energy efficient lighting systems and rake in the tax breaks, utility rebates, and energy savings that come with them.
5. Train and Document
To keep your processes top of mind, train your employees regularly. Doing so reminds them of processes to follow, how your company does business, and keeps their skills up to date.
Regular safety training also reduces the likelihood of accidents. For all types of training, keep a record that it was done in case of accident or any other employee issues.
6. Listen to Employee Feedback
Keep the people who work in the warehouse every day a cohesive team by listening to what they have to say about new rules, policies, and programs. This gives them a voice, provides a valuable perspective, and allows them the opportunity to offer up new ideas that could improve the business.
7. Make the Warehouse Easy to Navigate
Put up signs and labels throughout the warehouse to help employees find what they need quickly and easily. This also cuts down on wasted time asking other employees or supervisors where items are all the time and gets new pickers up to speed faster.
For the success of the business and its customers, an efficient warehouse is crucial. Getting orders picked, packed, and delivered in a timely manner while reducing mistakes saves money for the company and adds value for customers. These tips will help you reap those benefits and add up to an overall improvement in the performance of your efficient warehouse.