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An efficient warehouse consistently gets accurate orders out on time. As the warehouse manager, you’re constantly searching for ways to cut costs, minimize waste, streamline operations, and boost productivity. Here’s our shortlist of simple but powerful things you can do to maximize your bottom line.
Reduce Waste to Save Money
There are multiple ways to reduce warehouse waste – which is anything that costs you money, time, or resources that could be eliminated without consequence. Waste can result from things like unorganized inventory, poorly managed ordering practices, and redundant job tasks to name a few. What are some specific methods that will help you reduce waste?
Consider evaluating and optimizing your packaging materials to reduce supply and shipping costs. Also, aim to reduce the number of returns that come back to the warehouse due to defective or damaged goods. To do so, implement a thorough receiving process and task your employees with performing regular quality control checks.
Review Inventory Management Processes
A disorganized warehouse makes it hard to maximize your budget. That’s why taking the time to streamline your picking process and making sure your warehouse is set up in a logical order can really pay off. This effort will help workers find products quickly, which will reduce labor costs and increase overall productivity. Group high-demand items together in areas of easy access, or organize your warehouse into zones that allow workers to move logically through the space as they pull items for pick lists.
Improve Order Accuracy
Errors on printed warehouse orders mean workers are forced to spend extra time finding the right products. Additionally, inaccurate product inventory can create long backorder lists and anger customers. Adopting better order accuracy methods can ensure you have enough products on shelves to fulfill all your orders and keep customers happy while reducing order errors. But this doesn’t have to be a manual process.
If you haven’t already, consider implementing warehouse management technologies and systems in your operations. Technology such as handheld RFID devices and barcode scanners automatically update product inventory numbers in your management software when workers pick items from shelves.
Provide Worker Training
Schedule regular training for new and veteran workers, so they have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. During training, consider teaching workers how to handle additional positions during busy sales seasons. Ideally, if one worker is ill, injured, or on vacation, someone else can easily perform that job without requiring you to hire additional employees. The time spent up front on training will reduce wasted hours in the long run.
Follow the above guidelines to decrease waste, increase productivity, and maximize your bottom line. Finding simple ways to streamline operations without sacrificing quality and accuracy will always pay off.