Six steps towards a better logistics flow in the warehouse
Make sure your bestselling products are easy to access
Are your high (and low) frequency goods in the right place? Your bestselling products should be easily accessible not right at the back of the warehouse, so that your staff don't waste time making a lot of long and unnecessary journeys to fetch them. Think about it the same way you think about your kitchen: the kitchen knives and coffee machine that you use every day are out on the counter, glasses and plates are in the most easily accessible cupboards and the fondue set is at the back of a high shelf somewhere! It’s the same a warehouse.
With careful planning, you can quickly make your storage and logistics systems more efficient. A place for everything and everything in its place – nowhere is this more applicable than in a warehouse.
Remember to keep some space free
When will your warehouse be full? To make it easy to accept incoming goods and store them in the right place, your warehouse should ideally be kept 80% to 85% full. This gives you plenty of free storage space and allows you to reorganise things temporarily when you receive large deliveries.
It does not matter if you occasionally have less free space available, but if this becomes a regular occurrence, it will make day-to-day work more difficult and will start to cost you money. In this situation, you have two options: you can either make more efficient use of your floor space and increase your storage capacity by installing additional shelving units, or move to a larger premises.
Update your fixtures and fittings regularly
Has the type of goods you work with changed? Is this change permanent? Then it's time to take action. You may need to make changes on an ongoing basis. The key to efficient warehouse management is to have fittings that are designed for the goods you store. If some of the goods you are stocking are small but are kept on shelves designed for other larger items, this means that you are storing a lot of fresh air, but the set up makes it impossible for you to increase your storage capacity. However, if you change the depth of the shelves to meet your new requirements, you can free up floor space for more shelving units and increase your capacity.
Another idea for getting more out of your warehouse is to take full advantage of the ceiling height and expand upwards. However, it's important to bear in mind that shelves that are very deep and very high make the products more difficult for your picking staff to reach. Fitting out your warehouse in the best way is a balancing act between maximising use of space and accessibility.
Optimise working conditions for warehouse staff
Has your customer service team received an increasing number of complaints about incorrect picking and damaged goods recently? Then it's time to take a look at the working conditions of your warehouse staff because unnecessarily long journeys and complex picking routines can cause a lot of problems. If it becomes more difficult for people to do their jobs because of circumstances outside their control, it can often lead to stress. This type of stress can easily result in mistakes being made, which customers will see as poor quality and careless service.
The well-being of your employees can affect your entire business. By giving them the right working conditions to do a good job, you are investing in both quality and efficiency.
Make sure you have the right equipment
What can you do to make work in the warehouse easier? It's all about being organised and saving time. The top priority is for every product to have a designated place on the shelves that is clearly marked and easy to find. It's also important to have well-equipped packing tables nearby to make packing easier. Remember to have plenty of workstations so that no one has to wait and waste time unnecessarily.
Appropriate trolleys and lifting equipment perform two functions: they make the work more efficient and provide an ergonomic work environment that reduces the risk of injuries.
It's also a good idea to have recycling stations in strategic positions. This means that discarded materials are recycled straight away without wasting time. The result is no litter or blockages in the aisles.
Give your customers what they want
Are you sometimes forced to turn down business because the warehouse can't keep up with demand? Are your delivery times sometimes so long that your customers give up and go to another supplier? Then it's time to take action, reverse the trend and create a warehouse that can provide the level of service that your customers expect.
Regardless of whether you want to resolve a problem or are wondering which warehouse products can best meet your needs, our warehouse experts are here to help. Our aim is to find the best warehouse solution for you. No job is too big or too small. Give us a call and take the first step towards a well-designed warehouse solution that will satisfy both your customers and your employees.