How to Improve the Efficiency of your Warehouse
The efficiency of the warehouse is an integral part of any business. When a warehouse is messy and inefficient, it affects your performance to deliver customer orders on time, which impacts overall customer retention rates. Moreover, a poorly managed warehouse also puts your employees at risk. This is a major liability to your business when they face injuries.
Fortunately, these workplace problems can be avoided by changing and optimizing your warehouse for efficiency. Here are a few ways in which you can easily improve the efficiency of your warehouse.
The first step towards improving your warehouse efficiency is to re-evaluate its layout. Plan the layout based on optimization for scalability and flexibility in the usage. As you examine the entire floor plan, consider optimizing the placement of certain machinery, racks, and walkways so that you will have:
- An organized inventory to improve picking rate
- Sufficient storage space for spare items
- Storing common goods near exits or aisles to improve accessibility
- Safer shelving to prevent accidents
By optimizing the floor, you can have a warehouse layout that is safe, functional and enables your employees to be more efficient during work hours. Moreover, the warehouse’s usability can be maximized, which makes your business more cost-effective in the long run.
Warehouse Storage Optimization
With recent global development scenarios, more consumers are staying home and shopping online. There is a greater demand for suppliers and a growing need to expand inventory. While there is always the option to increase existing warehouse square footage space, this can become a costly decision especially if it requires you to set up a second location for storage.
Instead of increasing space, focus on optimizing the space you currently have. For instance, build storage upwards by installing vertical pallet racking systems, or check to see if you can add additional storage aisles by minimizing the distance between them. One way is to create alternating one-way aisles rather than having two-way traffic aisles.
This method not only allows you to significantly increase storage, but also improves productivity as you reduce travel time from aisle to aisle and improve picking and stowing rates.
Strategic Usage of Available Space
If your warehouse has high vertical space, consider using mezzanine flooring options such as raised storage platforms. The build of mezzanine floor platforms allows you to easily install it between floors without having to do heavy construction. Not only will you expand existing floor space for additional storage, but you will also save on costs that come with having to do extensive makeovers to the warehouse structure and disruption to operations.
Having organized workstations can reduce cluttering which helps your employees perform their tasks better. A clean working environment also helps to improve work motivation and safety, which benefits workflow processes. A good way to achieving this is to adopt the 5S method in the workplace:
- Set in order
Additionally, you may also want to consider looking into investing in mobile workstations and mobile power carts. These options allow your employees to bring their workstations closer to their tasks which can reduce unnecessary foot traffic and time-wasting.
Consider Automation and Other Technologies
As your business grows, so will the demand for supplies and storage. Smaller operations may function sufficiently well with manual pickers delivering products to and fro within the warehouse. However, this approach is non-scalable and as time goes on, you will find it to be negatively impactful on overall warehouse productivity.
Having automation such as robotic forklifts and conveyors can help to move products much faster than relying on human hands. They save time by simplifying packing and stacking processes as well as reduce the chances of accidents happening.
Another technology worth investing in is mobile technology. Employees can utilize smartphones and tablets fitted with a warehouse management system (WMS) applications to receive orders and optimal picking routes. This would not only help employees reduce picking errors, but also provide them with a safer and more controlled environment to work in.
If you need advice on implementing improvements in your warehouse to increase your workflow efficiency, you can contact our storage specialists from Aracking & Shelving Solutions at 9297 9543 or drop us an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will find the best solution that fits your budget!