Warehouse efficiency can save your business time and money. Running a smooth operation for picking and deliveries will make sure you maintain a good reputation with your customers and don’t lose money on delayed, lost or incorrect orders.
- Layout your warehouse in an efficient way. A good floorplan will work with your staff to allow them to complete tasks faster and get more things done. Use all the space in the warehouse, including making use of the height, to avoid having to pay to expand your warehouse space. Organise your layout to have clearly marked areas for storage, sorting, shipping and products. Clearly label each area and any product shelves so staff can find what they need easily. Mark out smart picking routes to minimize trips around the warehouse.Put bestsellers in easy to access areas near the front of the warehouse, and keep stock of slower sellers low so they don’t take up as much space.
- Make sure you’re using a reliable delivery service. Customers need to get their orders promptly in order to trust you. Pick a company with good reviews, that has sensible policies regarding lost, damaged or delayed orders. Set up pallet delivery that is fast, reliable and arrives in good condition.
- Keep your warehouse tidy to avoid silly accidents like tripping over packing materials. Provide the staff with cleaning tools like bins, brooms and mops. Ask staff to be in charge of their own working areas, and have warehouse supervisors check that things are kept tidy.
- If any areas of your warehouse are dark, make sure you fit more lighting. Low visibility can lead to accidents, so light your warehouse well. Bright lighting can also help staff to feel more alert and awake while they’re working.
- Conduct regular inspections, or have warehouse managers regularly inspect. Check that everything is being run properly, safely and tidily.
- Check local regulations for operating heavy machinery, like driving a forklift. Set up designated walkways around the warehouse and require all staff to wear hi-vis jackets to make sure staff on foot are safe from the forklifts. Check regulations for the safe handling of any materials, such as cleaning chemicals, that you use and make sure staff are possibly trained.
- As soon as new stock arrives, get it checked for damage, correct quantities, or any mispicks. Once it’s checked, make sure it is put away promptly to get the warehouse floor cleared and ready for more deliveries.
- Don’t keep multiple products in the same location to avoid mistakes when picking orders. Make sure products are easy to find and are in clearly marked locations. You could also offer incentives for pickers to encourage faster, more accurate work.
- Use two or three standard boxes to pack into to reduce staff having to hunt for the right box to pack orders. Integrate your warehouse system with some packing software. This software can accurately produce a packing list, invoice and a shipping label, which makes sure the right products make it out of your warehouse to the correct person.