Improving Warehouse Operations

April 22, 2021

The operations involved in maintaining a warehouse need a lot of coordination and organization; only then the warehouse can run smoothly and fulfil the tasks in relatively less amount of time, with less cost and errors. Some of the important operations include the processes from receiving the goods, putting them away, storage, packing, and shipping them carefully. If you are looking for the answer to the questions, how to organize a warehouse, the following tips and practices can be followed to improve warehouse operations.

1. Optimization of Space

The layout of the warehouse is an important aspect to be noted. When a warehouse is properly designed, it becomes efficient for operations to be performed. Ideally, the sales volume must be considered while planning the layout. The order reports from the Warehouse Management System (WMS) can be used to determine the fastest moving goods and ways to receive or ship them. This ensures that the hot-selling goods are stored in the nearest locations. A proper layout can also ensure that the warehouse is clutter-free. Hence layout must be in such a way that it minimizes time and effort.

2.  Technology Driven

 First, while receiving the goods, software like labour management systems, dock schedules can aid in allocating the correct amount of personnel by forecasting the shipments that are yet to come. Also, while moving the goods to the storage area, software like slotting, space management systems can be used. They can assign spaces for the goods automatically. This also ensures maximized space utilization.

3. Organized Storing

While storing, standardized containers can be used while storing because they simplify the process and make it easier to store or find the goods needed. This also gives a proper appearance, hence ensuring organization. Readable labels can be used in containers. Standardized bins can be used; hence the use of handling equipment can be minimized. Bin locations can also be used to ensure that pallets, bins are placed carefully in the assigned locations. During storing, software to automatically calculate warehouse storage utilisation can make the process efficient. Slotting optimisation systems can help in allocating the right storage location for the given product.

4. Optimized Labor Efficiency

The process of picking, i.e. collecting the goods from the warehouse to fulfil the orders of the buyers, can be done efficiently using technology. Most of the picking lists are wireless; hence mobile phones, wearables can be used. Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) can help in automatically placing and retrieving things more precisely and rapidly. This is one of the best warehouse improvement ideas. A greater number of orders can be perfectly placed with the use of AS/RS. It is always better to use vertical space as the warehouse square footage is expensive. It usually increases the efficiency of picking and packing processes.

5. Time and Cost Management

The packing systems that have dimensions and weight can determine the type of packaging material to keep the item safe. While shipping, labour management systems for allocations, shipping mobile applications to verify shipments can be used to carefully load cargo. Cross-docking can be preferred as it can speed up operations and eliminate the handling of the products that are ordered to the shipping dock without stopping at the warehouse. This ultimately reduces the cycle time and costs of handling the materials.

The success of maintaining a warehouse operation depends on how organized it is in every step. It must be efficient enough to reduce time, effort, and cost. The above-mentioned good warehouse practices checklist can help in optimizing the warehouse processes.