The warehouse of a business can be the difference in retaining customers and losing them. When looking at a business as a whole, it’s important to look at warehouse efficiency, and how it can be improved to keep ahead of competitors.
Inefficient warehouse processes can lead to long waits, wrong deliveries, and over or under ordering products – all of which affect the bottom line. There are a number of simple ways you can increase your warehouse efficiency and start reaping the rewards.
Improve storage solutions
As high-street stores decline, online retailers need to expand their inventory, which means having somewhere to store it. Before you consider a larger warehouse, optimise the space you have.
Build storage upward and see if you can add extra storage aisles by minimizing the distance between aisles. This can be safely and effectively done by adding one-way aisles instead of two-way. This will also decrease collisions with equipment such as forklifts and as a result increases safety for staff, as well as the cost of damaged equipment.
Upgrade technology in your warehouse
By investing in upgraded technology, you can make great strides in warehouse efficiency. Mobile systems that use cameras, touchscreens, and RFID scanners can dramatically cut time. Having staff connected to a Wi-Fi system means they can be anywhere in the warehouse and receive an order.
Upgraded technology isn’t just for mobile devices, by adding hour meters to motorised equipment, such as forklifts, you can track running time to schedule repairs or monitor elapsed time when determining warranty cover – all of which will save time and money in the long run.
Increase customer delivery options
Despite more people shopping online, the demand for in-store and drop-off collections are on the rise. Often this is because it’s more convenient to collect a parcel than have a missed delivery card land on the doorstep!
But, if you can capitalise on this and ship goods to one location instead of to households your warehouse will save time as well as the cost of transporting individual items. Similarly, using Amazon Fulfilment for your products means Amazon covers the shipping costs and well as handles customer service issues related to the shopping experience.
Improve your pick and stow routes
One of the biggest resources in any warehouse is the amount of time spent by pickers moving between orders and locating the product to be picked. It’s these labour costs that impact a business’s profitability.
Reduce the amount of these overheads by implementing a warehouse management system. The system records all product data and its location in the warehouse. As your warehouse receives the products, the system will direct where the products are placed.
If implemented correctly, it will also display the best path for pickers to take reducing the overall time spent.
By following these simple steps, you’ll see your warehouse becoming more efficient in no time.