How to Improve Your Warehouse
today at 1:11 pm
Warehouses are an integral part of nearly every business, from manufacturing to retail and everything in between. It’s easy to fall into old traps that can make your facility less efficient than it should be. Here are some quick and easy ways to improve your warehouse and make the most of your company.
Reorganize Your Products
It might seem like organizing your products by their SKU number makes the most sense, and at the beginning, that might work best for you. As you’re in business for a while, you’ll notice sales patterns — some products move through your warehouse faster than others, and some sit around long enough to start collecting dust. Once you start seeing these patterns, it’s time to reorganize.
Move the more popular items closer to your picking and packing stations, and less popular ones further away. This increases efficiency because you won’t be wasting as much time exploring the warehouse’s far reaches.
Upgrade Your Equipment
If you’re still relying on hand-picking and manual pallet jacks to move freight throughout your facility, you should upgrade your equipment. Look into adding a forklift or two to your fleet. It will represent quite an investment, though you can offset the costs a little by opting for used instead of new.
If you do choose this path, ensure that everyone who operates the equipment is fully trained. There are 34,900 forklift-related injuries every year, as well as 85 fatalities. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on training. An on-the-job injury or fatality will affect both productivity and morale.
Improve Your Processes
Tackling the details of lean manufacturing might seem intimidating, but choosing bits and pieces of these processes and utilizing them in your warehouse can help you optimize your facility. One of the main tenants of lean manufacturing is eliminating waste in all its forms. That includes everything from actual garbage to over-ordering and even wasted time.
Start looking at your current processes and see where you can start adopting some lean manufacturing tenets. You might be surprised by how easy it can be once you understand the basics.
Review and Modify as Needed
Improvements aren’t something you can do once and forget about them. You’ll need to continue to assess and review your changes to see what works well and what needs tweaking to make the most of it. You don’t need to micromanage everything and hover over your team like an overprotective parent. Instead, implement your changes, and once they take hold, sit back and observe.
From there, you can review your changes every quarter or six months and see what is working and what isn’t. Then you can make adjustments and recheck them later.
Never Stop Learning and Improving
There will always be ways to improve your warehouse, even if you think things are perfect the way they are. Take a closer look at your processes, and figure out where you can start improving things. Never stop learning about new ways to improve your business.