Because of the rapid expansion of e-commerce, warehouses play a strategic role in success. The efficiency of the warehouse—where products are picked, packed and shipped—is critical to keep customers happy. A company cannot afford late shipments, unproductive workers and lackluster management systems. Any one of these can damage a company’s credibility and send customers elsewhere.
In this article, we offer a few tips to enhance efficiency in your company’s warehouse operations. Implement these tips today to improve your warehouse operations immediately.
Tips for Improving Warehouse Efficiency
Processing shipments quickly is the most obvious place to start when improving the efficiency of your company’s warehouse. This means that as soon as orders arrive, your employees pick, pack and ship the items. For many businesses, this involves continual training of employees.
Regularly scheduled training ensures they are always up to date with new technologies and systems.
Other tips for improving efficiency include:
Audit and review warehouse performance constantly to identify areas for improvement.
Keep your products organized properly, so they can be picked, packed and shipped more easily and more quickly.
Schedule vendor receiving appointments.
Prioritize your stock by value.
Transition from a single-channel fulfillment center to an omnichannel fulfillment center.
Streamline warehouse operations with improved picking and packing processes.
Tips for Improving Warehouse Productivity
In order to address productivity issues before they arise, it is imperative that you communicate with your warehouse workers about priorities and pressing issues. As part of this effort, ensure that all warehouse conditions are safe and streamlined for maximum productivity. This includes making your warehouse work environment more comfortable for workers with such additions as air conditioning, soft flooring and break rooms.
Other ways to improve warehouse productivity include:
Offer an incentive program to encourage employees to excel.
Use kitting strategies by grouping products that are often purchased together in order to save time processing orders.
Invest in higher-quality equipment to reduce downtime caused by broken equipment.
Measure the appropriate metrics and report back to workers as needed so they can self-monitor performance.
Trends in Improving Warehouse Operations
Today’s technology improves warehouse operations, and robotic automation is a common trend. By automating the process through autonomous vehicles and equipment, human errors are essentially eliminated. Work can also be done around the clock.
Another popular trend to improve warehouse operations comes in the form of advanced shipping notifications (ASN). Using ASNs within your purchase orders and inventory management functions allows labor to be planned with greater reliability and accuracy, as well as order fulfillment and transportation activities to be adjusted easily. This ensures that time requirements are met, and transport modes are optimized to improve efficiency and keep costs down.
Learn more about Prologis’s industrial real estate research and how our experts can improve your warehouse operations. Our solutions can help your business compete on a global level, improve your efficiency and production, and save you money.