In the past, running a warehouse was a relatively niche activity. Logistics firms did it and the rest of the business world just let them get on with it.
Oh, how things change.
These days, you can barely run a business, even a home-based one, without dipping in and out of warehouse operations.
This post dives into the ABCs of warehouse operations, what you should know, and how you should go about it. Read on to learn more:
Plan Your Layout For Success
Optimising your warehouse layout is a much more complicated task than you might imagine. Common sense tells you to disaggregate your items by theme or purpose, but that’s rarely the most efficient arrangement.
When planning your layout, consider the following:
- Forklift accessibility
- Distance from pickers at the front end and loading bays at the rear
- Height – more commonly replenished items should be lower down
- Space – larger, higher volume items may require additional volume
Generally speaking, you can get some pointers on how to proceed using a warehouse management system. These let you design a warehouse layout and then keep track of what you have in stock more easily.
Keep It Clean
Dirty warehouses are both a product and a personnel risk. Floors covered in grease and grime can affect item quality and also lead to dangerous slips, trips and falls.
Therefore, as you set up your facility, invest in a warehouse floor scrubber. These periodically go around cleaning your floors, preventing dirt, grime and grease from accumulating. They’re cheap to run too, and only require minimal training.
Train Your Staff
Speaking of which, staff training is also essential. You need to ensure that they know how to use all their equipment safely, and how to pick items off the shelf in the right way.
As part of their training, they’ll need instruction in how to:
- Use scanners in warehouses
- Compete orders
- Work efficiently
Get Rid Of Inventory That Doesn’t Sell
When you’re running a warehouse, having a lot of items in stock that just won’t sell is a drain on your resources. You want your facility to run efficiently, not just turn into a long-term silo for goods that nobody wants.
Always keep track of the duration that goods remain on your premises. If you notice turnover is slow, reduce your shelving allocation.
Use A Quality Warehouse Management System
Trying to run a warehouse without a quality WMS is like trying to drive a car blind-folded – the results are going to be disastrous. That’s why practically every firm that manages a facility uses a warehouse management solution.
These pieces of software can be extremely helpful. They make it easier to understand your inventory and many have mobile features that allow employees to use scanners when checking items in the inventory or picking orders.
They also come with features that make it easier to figure out where you should place items for faster picking. Learning all these little extras can help you get better control over your warehouse from the start.