As anyone in the shipping industry knows, managing a warehouse is no mean feat. Simply put, trying to keep track of where all your inventory is, situate it so that everything is easy to get to, and managing all of your warehouse personnel is a nightmare without the right systems in place.
To help you institute those systems that drive efficiencies, we’ve written this article. In it, we detail a few warehouse best practices that you should know when you’re setting up your inventory and distribution network.
5 Warehouse Best Practices for Efficient Warehouse Management
1. Start With a Plan
The first thing to remember is that you need to have a very comprehensive plan for every facet of your warehouse’s operations. Remember the famous quote — if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.
Several things need to be planned. First and foremost is the blueprint, i.e. the inventory map of where everything is. Less frequently used items should be stored in the more difficult to reach places.
Second, there should be a plan for getting deliveries ready, as well as a plan for which personnel will be responsible for pallet inspection protocols. This and many other parts of your asset will need to be planned.
2. Disseminate the Blueprint
Once you have your plan together, it’s time to disseminate that to your working personnel. And perhaps the most important element of your plan that you need to disseminate is the blueprint.
There is a lot of time burned when employees are having to constantly ask each other where stuff is. If the convenient inventory map that you spent time planning out is instead available at everyone’s fingertips, then that will drive significant efficiencies.
3. Create a Delivery Calendar
The delivery calendar that you take should take a front and center view in your warehouse. At the end of the day, your deliveries are how your warehouse is judged. The faster and more efficient your deliveries are, the better your warehouse is performing.
Come up with a foolproof system to calendarize deliveries, and then put that on a bulletin board so that your entire working body knows what’s of priority when they come into work that morning.
4. Leverage Automation
Automation is key in the warehouse business. Everything that can be automated (e.g. tracking outing shipments with RFIDs and barcodes that trigger when the item leaves the building), should be.
5. Identify and Track KPIs
Last but not least, identify and track the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will serve as the governing metrics you judge operations by. These KPIs could include speed to delivery, percentage of items broken/damaged in inventory, and the like.
Use These Warehouse Best Practices
There you have it. Now that you know these warehouse best practices, you should now be far better equipped to develop a solid plan to make your warehouse that much more efficient.
For more related articles, be sure to take some time to check out the rest of the articles that are available to read on the website before you go!