An inefficient warehousing operation can be the difference between profitability and losing money. Technology plays such a huge role in warehousing and logistics in today’s economy, that it would be almost impossible to run a modern warehousing system without it.
Even with technology, there’s still a lot of room to improve processes and maximize productivity.
Focus on employee engagement
Research has shown that engaged employees benefit a company in numerous ways. For example. Engaged employees are more productive, take fewer sick days, and have fewer workplace health and safety incidents.
Take steps to ensure that your employees are engaged through good pay, conditions, and professional development.
Survey your workforce regularly and act on their feedback. This kind of continuous listening is far more effective than an annual survey, which is often cumbersome and rarely leads to any time changes that improve the business. By the time you’ve collated all of the information, employees may have already left.
Use warehouse management software
If you aren’t already using a comprehensive warehouse management system, then you really should think of investing. It will document your business to a granular level, from inventory to supply chain. It can show you the best and most efficient ways to store and fulfill your orders. It can keep track of every inch of your warehouse, and tell you where things should be stored, whether in a 1200mm retention unit, pallet, or roll cage.
Invest in training
The equipment and software you use are only as effective as the people who use it. By investing in your people and giving them regular, quality training, you’re ensuring that they can work at a high level of quality. You’re also showing that you’re committed to their safety and development.
It’s also a good idea to train employees in other areas of the business too. That way, if you’re ever short-staffed through illness or employee turnover, you have people who can step in at short notice to plug any gaps.
Encouraging employee feedback
The best people to ask about improving the efficiency of the warehouse are the people who work in it. They know the job in a way that others do not and will be able to identify areas that need improvement.
Develop clear and open channels with employees at all levels. Encourage them to give honest and open feedback on how things are working and especially the areas where they are not.
Develop good relationships with your suppliers
An efficient warehouse relies on stock being delivered and shipped on time. By building up your relationships with suppliers, you can help to ensure that things run smoothly in this area.
Have your purchasing department put a strategy in place to nurture these relationships.
There are many ways that you can improve the efficiency of your warehouse. Some are more obvious than others, but by looking at issues both large and small, you can address these problems and make real changes that will positively impact your bottom line.
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