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7 Tips for Improving Warehouse Management

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Lean budgets and greater productivity expectations mean that management has to find ways to improve what tend to be complicated, labor-intensive warehouse management systems. Rather than wait to add certain components later on, the best approach is to create a comprehensive warehouse management system (WMS) from the start that can immediately improve results. Plus, you can consider these other tips that provide ways to enhance cost savings and productivity:

  1. Implement task interleaving. This process involves having warehouse operators alternate between tasks that are physically close to each other, including picking/pulling and putaway tasks, empty pallet removal, and cycle count. This reduces unproductive traveling through warehouse and provides a way to get more done with fewer machines and people.
  2. Add slotting module. This type of feature integrates with RF-directed tasks and helps to move product around a warehouse so that it is in a more appropriate spot for increasing pick density and streamlining replenishment. The changes can raise productivity levels and keep product moving in the most efficient way possible.
  3. Install label-distribution equipment stations. Part of warehousing management is supplying label or packing lists to pickers, but many companies have been using a system where there is a central control desk where they get labels. However, this takes time, lowering productivity and creating a logistics nightmare for the clerks in charge of label or packing list distribution. By using label-distribution equipment that includes a computer and printer within the pick area, it lowers clerk labor and increases productivity.
  4. Maintain clean warehouse. While it may seem like an obvious way to improve warehouse management, it often is neglected when there are deadlines and other tasks that need attention. However, by keeping the warehouse clean and tidy, there is a higher probability that orders will not get misplaced, which can waste considerable time, potentially lead to orders going out late, and lost productivity and revenue.
  5. Assess your receiving process. Sometimes it takes going back to the start of the warehousing process to make the necessary improvements. Look at your receiving process and check that materials that come in are immediately inspected to identify any shortages or damages that could be fixed then rather than being discovered later during the order picking process. The receiving process should also include an ordered system for putting products and materials away.
  6. Select the most appropriate software. Today’s marketplace is full of software choices for warehouse management that include features like labor, inventory control, shipping and equipment maintenance. To pick the best software for your warehouse operations, you need to consider what features are most necessary to what you are trying to achieve plus consider your budget. There are many “try me, buy me” options where a trial period may help you better understand what type of software will work for you.
  7. Focus on safety training and procedures. Not only does making sure you have the safest environment possible a way to improve operations, but this strategy is also the right thing to do to protect employees from accidents and injuries. This requires that you assess equipment safety and layout to make sure risk is lowered. Plus, regular training on how to use equipment and what to look out for in terms of hazard can also enhance those improvements.

As you incorporate these strategies for improved performance, productivity, and cost-efficiency, you may notice other ways that you can further enhance your efforts and create a healthier business.

 



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