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Improving Your Business’ Warehouse Operations In 2018

– Contributed content –

Warehouse garage

(alexanderbeck, Pixabay)

11 May 2018. Whether your business uses a warehouse to manufacture products or to simply package and ship off goods, your operations in this facility are integral to the success of your company as a whole. It’s important to regularly review your warehouse to ensure that you’re operating at an optimal level of efficiency. After all, the needs of the market are always changing, and there are new technological solutions in the industry with every passing year. We’ll discuss points such as these in this article. Here’s some advice to improve your business’ warehouse operations in 2018.

Use technology for efficiency.

The best way to improve your business’ warehouse operations this year is to utilize the latest and greatest technological solutions on the market. You should be using any form of technology that can optimize processes in your warehouse. The cost of investing in new technology will be balanced out by the cost saved on inefficient and time-consuming processes that are currently taking place. Autonomous forklift trucks are being developed, and those could provide a great solution for your business. You’ll avoid human error (and accidents that could injure your employees). That’ll create more efficient warehouse operations and keep your workers safe.

Of course, some simpler technological solutions could massively improve your warehouse operations too. While robotic forklift machinery might not be available on the mainstream market yet, you can still use technology to automate as many processes as possible. Administrative tasks such as generating invoices or entering data are examples of things that shouldn’t be taking up the valuable time of your warehouse workforce. You should use software to automatically handle those tasks so that your team can focus their time and energy on the important manual work demanded of them in the facility. Use technology to create a more efficient warehouse this year.

Adopt responsible solutions.

When running a warehouse, you face a continuous cycle of production processes and other tasks that need careful management and organization in order for your manufacturing or packaging processes to run smoothly. We’ve already talked about using technology to create a more efficient operation, but you also need to think about your company’s sense of responsibility and duty when managing such an operation. First of all, you have a responsibility to your employees to keep them safe. Make sure you train your workers in warehouse safety so as to ensure that they keep themselves and their colleagues safe. You also need to make sure that the tools and machinery they’re using has been tested and double-tested to ensure it’s safe for use.

Additionally, you need to adopt responsible solutions in terms of the waste produced by your company’s manufacturing or packaging processes. In fact, this goes for your company’s office too. You most likely generate a lot of waste every year (e.g. paper, plastic, etc), so it’s your business’ responsibility to dispose of that waste in a cost-effective and environmentally-conscious manner. You should even think about the waste running through your pipelines. Perhaps you could look into industrial strainers to ensure that solids are removed safely and efficiently from liquid systems. This is important both for the sake of your warehouse operations and the responsible management of your company’s waste. Don’t forget that it’ll impress your customers too. People love brands that care about more than their own profit margins and make responsible decisions.

Tighten up inventory management.

Another way in which you could improve your warehouse operations this year is to tighten up your inventory management. You most likely deal with rapidly-fluctuating inventory levels on a continuous basis. A varying amount of stock enters the warehouse every day, and a varying amount of stock leaves the warehouse every day. It can be hard to accurately keep track of your inventory levels when those levels change so rapidly. But inaccuracy will cost your business money, so you need to manage your inventory effectively. You could use cycle counting to keep continuous track of your inventory. This involves partial counts of the inventory every day until you eventually cycle through everything. It’s a never-ending process, but it’s less disruptive to warehouse operations than counting the entire inventory every day.

Construction worker

(Yuri Kim, Pexels)

Incentivize your team to work harder.

We’ve already talked about utilizing technology to help your team work more effectively against the clock, but we haven’t talked about ways in which you could directly increase worker productivity. If you want to see a big improvement in your company’s warehouse operations then you need to focus on the employees who keep it running. Make it your goal this year to incentivize your team to work harder. You could increase the management presence in the warehouse, for starters. Employees will be less likely to slack on the job if they know that their bosses are watching them.

However, there are positive ways to incentivize your team to work harder too. You could increase the wages of the entire warehouse staff so that you add value to their work; an increased salary can have a drastic impact on a worker’s drive to work hard. Of course, you won’t be able to increase your team’s salaries every week, so you need to think about long-term solutions to keep your team incentivized. You could use smaller rewards to motivate the warehouse workers to increase their productivity levels. For example, the employee of the month could receive a small bonus. You could even promise an early finish to the work day if your team completes their workload before a certain time (given that the work is still completed to a high standard).

Maximize the available workspace.

Much like rearranging the layout of your household so that it feels more spacious and comfortable, taking a new approach to the layout of your warehouse could create a more spacious and efficient environment in which to work. You should stack vertically instead of horizontally, for starters. You can store your goods much more effectively if they’re piled up to the ceiling rather than taking up excessive floor space. Plus, you might find that you have more room for additional items of stock than you realize. Better layout management could give you the chance to expand your operations without having to buy a bigger warehouse. Just make sure that the warehouse is neat and spacious so that it’s easy for your workers to navigate their way around the workspace.

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