Five common sense tips to maximise your warehouse efficiency

How productive is your business’ warehouse operation? Read five common sense tips to help you maximise its efficiency.

people often mistakenly assume that managing a warehouse is easy. They see it just as a third party facilitator – merely receiving, processing and shipping items – and something that requires less thought than manufacturing or retail.

But this is huge mistake. Because your business relies on an efficient, smoothy run warehouse; awarehouse that is able to produce extremely tight turnarounds while maintaining a very high level of accuracy.

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For many business, successfully managing a warehouse is like running a hundred shops at once, for most have at least that many products to keep track of and process.

Five common sense tips for warehouse efficiency

So, how do you make sure that your warehouse’s performance and productivity remains at a high level? Here are five common sense tips that may help

1) Consider automated wrappers

Unless you’re running a very small operation, you’re almost certainly wasting a lot of time if you’re still using manual wrapping machines.

Yes, automated pallet wrappers are an extra expense, but they’re also a great investment. Good packaging supplies are essential for warehouse efficiency. You could pack and process twice the amount of deliveries if you can just set the machine up and attend to other tasks while the order wraps itself.

2) Maximise space

One common mistake made by warehouses is the use of uniform shelving. This is fine if you’re only handling one type of product or a lot of items that are exactly the same size.

However, if you’re processing lots of lines and items, this wastes valuable shelf space. The more you can fit onto the shelves at any one time, the less work there’ll be for replenishing teams and pickers who won’t have to wait around for them to be refilled quite so often.

3) Standardise workstations

If you have multiple packing and wrapping stations, standardising their contents is an effective way to boost efficiency.

In other words, assign every station a set of tools (box knife, tape, etc) and make sure that it stays there. You can even colour code or attach numbers to them, so they don’t get lost.

This way, nobody is scrambling around for tools when they should be packing, and anybody who doesn’t have tools needs to keep better track of them.

4) Bring big sellers to the front

Make your biggest selling items as easy to get to as possible. Otherwise, pickers will end up wasting lots of time constantly climbing ladders or dashing to the back of the warehouse for products that they need again and again.

All of this time adds up, and it will bring the overall efficiency of your warehouse down. So, keep track of sales figures and move items around based on what the numbers tell you.

5) Never give in to clutter

This might sound like a simple piece of advice, but it is very important: you must not give in to clutter and mess.

In fact, if the warehouse moves at quite a fast pace (which it really should), you’ll need to appoint an individual as shift caretaker. Somebody who is responsible for picking up cardboard and removing it from the aisles where pickers are operating.

If you don’t do this, you’ll slow them down because they’ll be wading through a sea of waste materials all day.

Why little changes can make a big impact

The changes that you implement in your warehouse don’t have to be expensive or even all that complex. Sometimes, it is the simple methods that are the most powerful.

Things like keeping aisles clear, arranging stock in a logical manner and making sure that packers are never too far from packing materials. These are little details, but they boost efficiency by eliminating unnecessary distractions.