Warehouse inventory management is more than just the practice of arranging your inventory so that it can be found quickly, it’s about maximizing productivity while saving time and money to increase inventory accuracy.
For example, some practices like labeling are intuitive and can be done without the use of software. But practices like using barcodes and scanners are a part of a warehouse and inventory management system. These systems focus on the flow and accuracy of product inventory.
Here are some other tips to keeping your warehouse in optimal shape:
Inventory Upkeep Management
Firstly, make sure your warehouse meets your current standards. To do this, you should inspect your operation and organization regularly. An organized warehouse can quickly become a disorganized mess. A mess is undesirable because it can slow your pickers down.
Ask questions like: is the stock located so you can easily and safely access it? Are “hot” SKUs between waist and shoulder height so that they can be picked quickly? Is there an area in your warehouse for damaged items? Are damaged items being dealt with daily?
Have a daily checklist for the manager to stay on top of tasks and make sure you hold him or her responsible for the warehouse.
Utilize Cycle Counts
Don’t wait until the annual physical inventory count comes to perform regular inventory control audits. Perform cycle counts and analyze their discrepancies to perfect the time it should take you to go through all locations. For those of you who don’t know, cycle counting is a type of perpetual inventory counting that takes places in waves over time. Only small subsets of inventory are counted during each wave. It’s good to have cycle counts go through all locations every quarter so that you have a more accurate back-office system.
Minimize Unauthorized Traffic
Do you ever notice someone walking around your warehouse and think, who is this person? Maybe a new hire? Or someone from customer service team actively picking something they shouldn’t? Eliminate the risk of having unauthorized people walking around the place where your inventory is stashed. Give your warehouse employees some kind of an identifier (like special t-shirts, badges or even special security access) that can distinguish those working in the warehouse and those that shouldn’t.
Do you have any product in your warehouse without labels? Put labels on them to make it easier for pickers to choose the right inventory. It’s all about reducing errors. You can avoid future trouble by taking some simple preventative measures. For example, you can either come up with your own labeling system and purchase thermal printing labels to print them on, or you can use a labeling software. With most labeling software, you can also determine what gets put on your labels so that you can customize them to fit your exact needs.
Practice Priority Picking
A low-tech, yet highly effective trick is to create colored orders or pick lists. These will help your material handlers identify the products that go to your most valuable customers because they can observe the color priority.
Finish Right, Start Tight
Give your warehouse team time to finish order processing and clean up before they need to clock out. Schedule a time to stop processing orders, maybe 30 minutes before the end of the day, and allocate the remaining time specifically for cleaning. By the end of the day, your warehouse will be organized, and your inventory will be right where it belongs, instead of just lying around waiting for the next day to start in disarray.
Whether you are looking to save space or to improve day-to-day throughput processes, the right racking storage system can shape your facility to its maximum potential. Contact the team at Complete Warehouse Supply for your initial chat to see what solution will work best for your warehouse needs.