Stitch Labs, an industry leader in inventory management, has compiled a list of ways to optimize your warehouse. These include organization, inventory accessibility, stock layout, traffic barriers, team feedback and process documentation.
Start at the Beginning.
Put an end to the procrastination and take the time to breakdown the boxes and put in the recycling bin, unpackage products, and stock them accordingly. This is a habit you must commit to. If your shipment comes around the same time each day/week, it’s a good idea to schedule time into your regular routine. Putting it off will only allow it to become an even larger project, always vying for your attention.
If you’re managing a warehouse, then you know that optimizing your picking process is key to developing a more efficient system. Store best selling products near the shipping area to avoid a scavenger hunt that leads to a major slowdown in fulfillment, label clearly, and move out shipments as they’re received.
Stock Layout Analysis.
If certain items are often ordered together, stock them that way. Each seller is going to be different, but if you analyze your order data and have statistical support showing that Product A is most often ordered with Product B, then decrease picking time by placing these products more closely together.
Traffic Barrier Elimination.
This may seem obvious, but be sure there are no barriers in the main traffic area. It’s easy to put off organizing shipping boxes or unpacking items, but if your team is stacking large barriers that keep you from fulfilling orders, you’re going to encounter a backup in moving out shipments.
Don’t underestimate warehouse employees and their role in the success of your overall sales goals. Their speed and dedication on executing various warehouse processes can make or break the bottom line. Asking for input for improving operations is key. Keep an open, healthy line of communication going and never undervalue their feedback. This is their livelihood — learn to trust their instincts.
If you’re using some type of technology to manage and track inventory, it is likely to have ongoing updates. When these occur, be sure to spend some time educating your team on the updates and how it affects day-to-day routines. Keep a record of current processes makes follow-up and training much easier to tackle.