If warehouse efficiency has been an unfulfilled priority for some time then 2019 is the year to tackle the problem. An efficient warehouse delivers many benefits, from lower costs to higher productivity and more accurate and streamlined fulfillment. There are many ways to improve warehouse efficiency – here are seven of the most accessible.
1. Incentivise your workforce
When did you last review the pay and conditions of the people who do most of the work in the warehouse? Introducing incentive pay that reflects positive performance can help to improve efficiency and productivity across the board. The idea is to use a pay structure to incentivise workers to do more, as opposed to paying for the productivity that already exists.
2. Simplify your workflows
Warehouse processes are often built over time, which means that they may be a mix of different systems and add-ons as need has evolved. This approach can end up being incredibly inefficient. It’s worth looking at the way that the warehouse is set up and reevaluating whether that still works for the demand that exists right now. The best approach to take is to try to reduce workflows to the fewest steps possible to guarantee greater efficiency.
3. Track the right metrics
It’s difficult to improve efficiency if you don’t know what your starting point is. Critical KPIs need to be tracked and managed, especially when it comes to the costs involved in operations. What are the productivity levels and costs that relate to crucial elements of the business, such as shipped orders or returns? Once you’ve started to track the right metrics you’ll have a much more solid idea of where improvements can be made.
4. Improve warehouse management
From the way that managers handle staff to the oversight that there is on operations, warehouse management has a crucial role to play in whether or not efficiency is there. You might want to consider more training for management, whether that’s focusing on your products, your customers, or the latest in warehouse management approaches. Great management can considerably improve the way a warehouse performs.
5. Automation and voice-enabled technology
A whole wealth of technology driven solutions exist today to help improve warehouse efficiency. These can be applied across the processes within the entire warehouse, from handling returns to picking and retrieval systems. This technology is usually designed to be quick to install and will have very low training thresholds.
6. Upgrade software
The process of upgrading existing software and systems is something that usually takes place on a fairly regular basis for most businesses. It may be worth looking at a SaaS subscription model for software if you’re keen to find more flexibility and lower costs. Whether it’s across the entire business, or to support a specific function, new software can deliver significant process improvement.
7. Introduce regular review
Like any other process, working on warehouse efficiency is an ongoing activity. Set your goals, track your progress and then readjust as you go along.
We offer a range of storage and retrieval systems and solutions for warehouses – contact Randex today to discuss your requirements on 0208 492 7717.