How to Improve Warehouse Efficiency and Lower Your Costs

Posted: 26th October 2016 12:57

An efficient warehouse is vital, not only for customer satisfaction but also for lower overheads.  Quick and accurate shipments will keep your customers happy with the service you are providing, in addition to eliminating returns and lowering staff hours.  If you haven’t considered the financial costs of your warehouse, it’s time to start doing so now.  Below are five ways to improve your warehouse’s efficiency level.

1. Optimize All Available Space

Rather than buying additional warehouse space, have you considered optimizing the space that you currently have?  Add taller storage units if you have to, and invest in the proper machinery to help your staff pick items more quickly.  You also want to consider the way that you are storing items.  Storing items on pallets, for example, takes up a lot of room. A better idea would be to install shelving.  You may need different types of shelving depending on what you are storing, but this will help you to optimize space and reduce the need for expansion… at least in the short term.

2. Adopt a Lean Inventory

Do you really need 200 items in the same product line on hand?  Or could you make do with just 10.  Large companies have the luxury of being able to keep a lot of products on hand at one time, but for small businesses, a lean inventory is a better option.  Not only will it reduce the space required to store products, but it will also free up some of your cash flow.

3. Optimize Staff Efficiency

If you sell an item that is in demand, make sure to place this in an area where your staff can get to it quickly – ideally near the packing area.  This will save your staff a lot of time and increase the speed at which they can pick items and get them ready for delivery.  Another thing to think about doing is storing items that are regularly sold together close to each other.  Doing this will help to streamline your warehouse, and reduce the stress levels of your staff.

4. Eliminate Clutter

If your warehouse looks cluttered, it won’t be efficient.  Your staff need to be able to move around and find items easily without looking all over the place for misplaced items.  A clutter free warehouse will also be much safer, and will reduce errors.  Make sure everything from the shelves in your warehouse to your packing stations are clutter free, and you’ll find your staff are happy, and your warehouse is more efficient.

5. Adopt Technology

Finally, one last thing you may want to do is adopt technology.  There are a number of different systems that you can implement based on your needs, but a strong warehouse management system is a must – especially once your business starts to grow.  Using this technology, your staff can be provided with automated packing lists, and be directed to the items in a succinct manner.  Barcode technology can further help by eliminating picking errors and wasting paper.

If you want to lower the financial cost of your warehouse, it is vital to look into improving its efficiency.  These tips should help you do that.