A well-operated warehouse could very well be the difference between your customers receiving their items in a timely manner and being satisfied and shipments being delayed and them looking to your competition for their needs. For this reason, it is vital that a warehouse operates as efficiently as possible.
Below are four tips to follow to maximize the chances of your warehouse operating properly. These material handling solutions will allow you to meet the requirements and demands of your customers.
1. Maintain accessibility
When an order is received you want to fill it and ship it out as soon as possible so your customer receives it quickly. As a result, you want to ensure items are easy to access. Items that are in high demand should be easy to reach so they can be shipped fast. It is understandable that not all products can be accessed all at once due to a limited amount of storage and it is acceptable to make use of stackable shelving to utilize vertical space.
However, it is good practice to keep popular items at ground level and have devices such as a forklift or jack to reach items on higher shelves. As the owner or manager, you should always be re-evaluating your setup and looking for ways to maximize efficiency. Just because your setup may have worked originally does not necessarily mean it is still working now.
Looking at your inventory and storage arrangement continuously will guarantee the best and most effective operation to meet your customer’s needs.
2. Keep it clean and safe
Keeping your warehouse clean and safe will allow you to not only meet requirements under employment laws it will ensure your operation is as proficient as possible. Make sure the warehouse floor is free of any spills and barriers that would cause injury to employees. Confirm that employees operating machinery such as hand-jacks and forklifts are properly trained so accidents do not occur.
Employees should wear safety boots and hardhats at all times when on the warehouse floor. Taking such precautions will prevent accidents involving your employees who keep your warehouse operating smoothly.
3. Keep organized
A warehouse that is not organized will experience significant difficulties. Employees who cannot easily locate items will spend time searching for them and orders may not ship in time. This will lead to customers being disappointed and looking towards your competition for their future needs.
Make sure your products are well-organized and easy to access so employees can compose orders without difficulty. Make use of signs and maps that can assist workers in successfully locating products and labels that can properly identify items to ensure order accuracy. Your shipping area is an important area as this is where orders are finalized and physically sent out.
Confirm that it is well-organized, spacious enough, and has all materials required to ship out items such as packing slips, tape, and shrink-wrap. A hectic, ill-equipped shipping dock could lead to missed shipments and customers not getting orders on time.
4. Quality control
You would hate to find out that a valued customer received an order that was incorrect and missing needed items. For this reason it is important to practice effective quality control. Check each physical order and compare it to the order form before each order goes out. This will also allow the opportunity to confirm that the order is correct and identify any damaged items before being shipped to a customer.
To prevent a damaged item from being included in an order in the first place, assign an employee to check products included in your inventory on a set schedule to check for damages. It is always beneficial to use a shipping method that offers tracking as this allows you to check on orders during transport and receive confirmations when orders are successfully delivered.