To ensure quick, accurate shipments and build a network of satisfied customers, it’s important that your warehouse is efficient and productive. Below we share five warehouse management tips that will help you maintain a profitable warehouse that accommodates both local and international shipments.
1 – Maximize and Optimize Warehouse Space
Expanding the footprint of your warehouse is a big project that requires time and money. Instead of taking on this burden, make use of the vertical space you already have. Add taller storage units and the right equipment to pick and store materials. This allows you to optimize your space without having to expand it. Store smaller items in clear, labeled bins rather than on pallet racks, as this can waste space.
2 – Adopt Lean Inventory
“Lean” is a systematic approach that identifies and eliminates waste in warehouses. This way, you can store only the things you need and nothing more. Some of the areas to set your sights on include reducing or eliminating safety stocks and working with suppliers to deliver smaller quantities on a more frequent basis.
3 – Integrate Enabling Technology
Enabling technology suggests the best routes and methods for picking up inventory and putting it away. For example, a warehouse management system (WMS) creates automated pick lists that can be sent to mobile readers and other devices. This reduces the risk for errors, eliminates paper and saves time, helping your warehouse to be greener and more efficient.
4 – Organize Workstations
When workstations are well-organized, warehouse employees don’t waste time looking for tools and equipment. We recommend the 5S methodology that includes Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. By following this method, you can significantly cut down on errors, reduce clutter and improve safety.
5 – Create Picking Plans
If you don’t have enabling technology, or are slow to implement it, you’ll have to generate your own picking plans. You can do this by analyzing your current material usage patterns. For example, store items that are frequently sold and shipped together at the front of the warehouse. By keeping inventory in accessible locations, you can reduce travel times and improve efficiency.
There are always ways to boost productivity in your warehouse. Start simple and make sure you are using the right storage equipment and inventory method. Then, move onto algorithms and enabling technology that can help you streamline operations and reduce human error. As you find what works, you can make the necessary changes and enjoy a more productive, profitable warehouse. And once your warehouse is perfectly profitable, combine this with our DDP shipping solution to deliver packages to your European customers faster and more cost effective to improve their delivery experience.