Many warehouses are on a never-ending cycle of trying to maximize productivity and optimize workflows. They do this by considering the total costs of an order. There are management costs, direct and indirect labor, benefits, facilities, and packing costs. While every cost is vital to the process, many of your expenses are related to labor. It is imperative productivity stays up to keep costs per order efficient.
You can automate processes, reduce time and resource wastes, and upgrade your warehouse shelving systems and racking systems. There are several ways to improve productivity, and sometimes it’s not always easy to determine where your efforts will pay off. To help you evaluate your current shelving and racking systems, here are a few quick tips to improve your warehouse efficiency and productivity to make your operations run smoothly.
Focus on Safety
Make sure to prioritize safety in your training. Without smart safety practices, you are vulnerable to accidents that can become incredibly costly and lead to inefficiency and profit loss.
Invest In Training
Implementing a program to keep your workers updated on proper safety procedures and emphasize best practices will greatly improve warehouse productivity. When creating a training process, make sure to get feedback from your workers. They will know the strengths and weaknesses of warehouse protocols, warehouse shelving systems and racking systems, and productivity-slowing issues. Implement their insights into your system updates and training.
Having highly specialized warehouse workers, while ideal, can lead to inefficiencies. For example, if a worker needs time off, you might not have any other employees capable of taking over their responsibilities. Cross-training will allow you to fill any temporary work gaps without slowing productivity.
Cross-training could also boost employee retention, and it’s less expensive to pay an experienced employee than to hire and train a new one.
Perform An Audit And Cycle Counts
Don’t wait until your annual inventory count. Perform regular inventory control audits to analyze any discrepancies. You can’t improve something you haven’t analyzed. Staying updated on the timing of your cycle counts can help you perfect the timing and productivity. Any slight inefficiency within the chain will impact negatively throughout the whole process. Conducting regular audits will help you identify inefficiencies that you can then review and fix.
All repetitive tasks performed by workers should be documented and set as the standard. Repeatable processes create efficiencies and cut down on errors and injuries. Repeatable processes can also help with labor planning. When you document these processes, it is also easier to onboard new employees or updated current employees if any changes.
Track And Manage Damage Rates
By regularly tracking damage rates, you can measure packaging, suppliers, and logistical issues as they happen. You’ll be able to take action before your costs rise.
A practical approach to improving warehouse efficiency is to examine the packing process and eliminate unnecessary movement or ‘touches.’ By reviewing and streamlining the steps to reducing the number of touches involved, you can help workers make better use of their time.
There are so many different ways to improve your warehouse operations; there are just a few to get you started.