8 Best Practices to Improve Warehouse Efficiency
Every company wants to achieve different goals. Goals help motivate employees to obtain great results. Getting great results comes from practices done before, during, and after transactions with clients.
How to improve warehouse efficiency?
Improving warehouse efficiency helps the company deliver stock on time, avoid product damage, and gain more customers. Customer satisfaction is a strong factor in achieving warehouse efficiency.
#1 Use all the space available inside the warehouse
Most warehouse owners check the space horizontally which fills easily. However, some don’t realize that stacking stocks vertically saves space. Pile up stock using equipment like forklifts.
Maximizing space reduces shelving costs. Have warehouse personnel be more strategic when placing items to avoid colliding with each other. Warehouse staff use wall shelves to store larger items that consume the main space of the warehouse.
#2 Choose an automation system
Automating inventory management helps the efficiency of the warehouse. It improves the performance of employees and reduces errors. When using an automation system, place barcodes on every item. Using the barcode, every item is monitored if it has been released for delivery. Some move to another warehouse or checked out for quality check. Automation enhances the accuracy and precision during transactions.
According to research done by the University of Arkansas, warehouse staff that used RFID increased accuracy in taking inventory. They observed an increase of 27% through a period of 13 weeks.
#3 Create unique and comfortable workstations for the employees
Workstations give a boost in productivity, especially if they are well organized. Employees tend to be everywhere during peak seasons. When they organize their workstations, they become more efficient at work.
However, some companies use the 5S method to keep workstations organized. This method originated in Japan and consists of 5 phases:
- Sort – organize the space and remove unnecessary elements from the workstation.
- Set in order – put every tool necessary for work in an optimal location to aid work efficiency.
- Shine – tell every employee to keep their workstation clean. Tools used every day should be placed on spots easy to access.
- Standardize – create procedures to keep workstations clean.
- Sustain – instill in every employee the value of self-discipline and to do things without needing to be told to.
#4 Take care of employees and satisfy their needs
Warehouse staff have needs that affect their performance. Companies can take care of their employees by providing health care, food or transportation allowance, and incentives for a job well done.
To managers and supervisors, continue engaging with the staff and learn about their needs. Fulfill them so they keep on performing excellently at their job.
#5 Give feedback to employees
Checking every employee’s performance helps the company see what needs improvement. Employers create their own key performance indicators (KPIs) to gather data which they use to improve the performance of the whole company.
Moreover, regular feedback helps them turn their weaknesses into strengths and use it to their advantage.
#6 Maximize employees’ skills through training and development
When people learn new things, only a small percentage is retained in their minds. Attending training improves the way employees accomplish their tasks. However, training is not only for new employees but also for veterans. Every technological update must be addressed for employees who use the equipment. This reduces errors in production.
Remember that when people expose themselves to training, seminars, or workshops. Moreover, it expands their memory retention and helps them become more efficient at work.
#7 Identify every aisle and shelf for inventory
Employees need to check the type of materials used so they fit the environment of the warehouse. There are some materials that deteriorate in warm cold climates.
#8 Brighten up the warehouse by putting up lights
Working in a poorly lit environment hinders productivity. It may even lead to damage to the products. Employees may bump scaffolding or drop the products altogether. Moreover, this affects costs as it might begin loss on the part of the company.
Companies may begin by installing light fixtures. Nowadays, some companies invest in solar panels to save electricity and increase efficiency.
When companies want to improve their warehouse efficiency, it requires cooperation between employees and managers to create a unique system fit for their work.
One of the factors that affects how companies manage their material handling needs is how they conduct warehouse management. Manage inventory and handle products well using equipment from Reno Forklift.