6 Warehouse Optimization Tips to Improve Your Fulfillment
This is a guest post by Daniel Jackson.
Having a well-optimized warehouse is a dream for any manager. Whether you run a large storage facility or a fairly modest one, it is always in your best interest for it to be as optimized as possible. Unfortunately, achieving high-level optimization is easier said than done as every warehouse deals with different issues. But, some general guidelines can make your optimization process more manageable. This article will explore top warehouse optimization tips and how you can use them to improve your fulfillment.
Top Warehouse Optimization Tips to Consider
Before we start, it is worth noting that you shouldn’t try to apply all of these tips at once. Doing so will likely lead to subpar results. Modern warehousing is pretty complex. And the best course of action is to outline where your warehouse is most lacking and apply the proper solution. While all of the following tips will seem pretty straightforward, they can be tricky to put into practice. This is why you need to focus on one solution at a time if you are to apply them properly. Once you succeed, you can quickly proceed to the next one until you have a fully optimized warehouse.
Streamline the Receiving Process
The process of receiving entails:
- Making sure that the shipment arrived on time
- Verifying that you received the right product
- Confirming that you received the correct quantity
- Making sure that everything is in the proper condition
These are four relatively simple tasks. But, seeing how often you need to do them and not make any mistakes, it stands to reason that you ought to optimize them. An excellent way to start is by using dimensioners. With these, you can easily capture the weight and the dimensions of a parcel, making the verification process considerably faster. Furthermore, you really ought to invest in a decent labor management system. Having one makes allocating the necessary workforce a whole lot easier.
Make Use of Space Management Systems
Once you receive the items, it is in your interest to put them away as quickly as possible. This entails both finding the optimal location within your warehouse and transporting your items quickly to it. Again, a seemingly simple task that can be tricky to tackle. To make it easier, we suggest that you use a space management system suitable for your type of warehouse. Having one makes communication between managers and workers far more streamlined. And it makes finding the optimal location for new items essentially automatic.
Outline Storage KPIs
Whether or not you have optimized storage can be surprisingly hard to tell. While it may seem that you are making full use of the available space, you can have surprisingly large gaps in overall functionality. So, if you wish to optimize the storage within your warehouse, we suggest that you outline the important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Ideally, you will consult with an experienced warehouse manager and define which KPIs are most important to track. Then you need to utilize the right software and see what you need to improve and how effective your improvements are over time.
Use Optimal Picking Technologies
The process of picking entails collecting the necessary products to fulfill a customer’s order. As such, it accounts for 55% of the total operating cost of a warehouse. With this in mind, it should come as little surprise that optimizing your picking process is in your best interest, especially in the long run. But, the process of optimization is rarely easy. You need to start having the right picking technologies at your disposal. These include:
- Giving your warehouse managers mobile devices to view picking lists wirelessly
- Providing managers with full inventory tracking capabilities within the warehouse
- Giving them easy access to your database in real-time
It would be best if you also improved your warehouse layout with an ABC analysis. And select the suitable picking methodology to assist managers in everyday tasks. It all relies on having the necessary technologies and regularly consulting with your managers on what can be improved.
Use an Automated Packing System
Proper packing is the telltale sign of a good shipping company. But, to handle it with decent efficiency, you can hardly rely on your warehouse managers’ perception and know-how. Perhaps smaller companies that don’t pack many items within their warehouses can. After all, experts from miamimoversforless.com provide decent packing while not utilizing any high-end systems. But, if you plan on running a sizable warehouse where you pack and ship large quantities daily, you need to have an automated packing system in place. This system provides data about the dimensions, weight, and fragility of items that require packing. With this info, your workers can efficiently approach every packing task and ensure that their job is efficient and well-handled.
Automate Data Acquisition and Transfer
You cannot consider your warehouse as well-optimized if it does not efficiently communicate with shipping companies. After all, the whole point of an optimized warehouse is to have an efficient supply chain. So, the more you can integrate your warehouse within the shipping system of the companies you work with, the better. You need to make both data acquisition and automatic transfer to make this possible. Such systems eliminate human error and ensure that your warehouse is properly integrated within the supply chain.
As you probably noticed, most warehouse optimization tips rely on using some form of modern technology. So before you seek out new ones, we strongly recommend that you carefully compare their price vs. benefits. The cost of buying and running a new technology may seem high. But if you factor in the increased revenue due to having a well-optimized warehouse, you will soon see that they are well worth the cost.
This was a guest post by Daniel Jackson.
Daniel Jackson has worked in logistics for 15 years, and recently he began writing articles, hoping to help companies improve their operations and cut costs. In his free time, Daniel plays chess and enjoys cooking.