Great warehouse organisation starts with two principles: a functional layout and transparent processes.
- You lose your ability to ship or receive inventory in time. When customers expect their products on time, no organisation can afford to be constantly late.
- Workers are not as productive as possible. As a company, it is important employees can work their time in an efficient manner, otherwise more hours are required to complete the work, which means more money towards salaries.
- Your business risks losing money and credibility. Losing money and credibility are some of the most common issues an organisation faces when the warehouse operations are not smooth
Therefore, it is necessary you know exactly how to keep operations running smoothly and as effectively as possible. With the right mix of best practices, your company can maximise warehouse operations and be sure that:
- Shipping deadlines are met
- Customer satisfaction
- Staff members are safe
- Cash flow is steady and constant.
Whether you have a ‘new beaut’ space to work with, or looking at improving your current warehouse, here are our 5 best practice tips to get you started and in the right direction:
The first best practice step is to initiate an internal warehouse quality audit. This positions you to be in control of your facility and reduce the inconsistencies of your processes. The benefit of partaking in regular audits ensures the safety of your staff and protects the product you are shipping to the market. You also remain compliant with your specific ISO 9001 standards.
While audits can feel tedious whilst performing them, consider the amount of work that comes from post-accident or product shrinkage reports – the probability is, performing a regular audit is easier to maintain and less work for your business in the long term.
2. Ask your Team
It’s essential to get advice from the people that know your space as well as you do. Your warehouse team have clear insights into the procedures and use of space within your facility. Having the experience allows them to see things from a direct and clear perspective.
We recommend taking the time to have a group meeting or setting up an employee form to collect the information you need.
Find out what they feel needs improving, trial out new ideas, and improve processes to save time.
You may be surprised by their suggestions, some of them you may not have even considered.
3. Maximise your Space!
Before you let panic sink in, and start looking for a more extensive warehouse, take a deep breath and first assess your current warehouse situation. If you’re short on space, you may be able to solve that issue by simply looking up and adding pallet racking or a mezzanine floor. These two products have made many warehouses across the country that much easier to work within. The benefits of these two products:
- Affordability: It makes good economic sense to use every square inch available in your warehouse. Purchasing pallet racking or mezzanine flooring saves you money for the short and long term.
- Safety –Stores your inventory safely and ensures the well-being of your employees.
- Optimisation: To help reach stock will make processes that bit easier for your employees, ensuring the efficient, smooth running of the business. So stop Googling for a new warehouse location; go out and see what space you have available first.
If your warehouse stores a host of products, it is worth investing in an Inventory Management System (IMS). An Inventory Management System is a process by which you track your goods throughout your entire supply chain and helps keep everything labelled and traceable.
IMS’s hold quite a significant upfront cost, but the potential for improved productivity outweighs this.
When purchasing your system, shop around and get quotes that best fit your business and budget.
Making sure every member of your team understands the systems and processes set up within your warehouse is paramount. The importance of adhering to these procedures ensure an organised, more efficient, and safe environment to work. Training should always be an ongoing commitment that keeps the whole team updated on new legislation and ongoing good work health and safety operations.
Need more helpful tips?
Mapping out your warehouse can be stressful so Storeplan is here to help create the most effective warehouse solution for your business.