In the modern warehousing world, speed is essential if you want to get ahead of the pack. Nonetheless, it can often seem like no matter what you do, increasing efficiency is actually quite a difficult task. It is something to aim for though, as the faster you can work and ship items out, the higher turnover you can have in your warehouse and the more money that you can make. There is no need to worry however as you have come to the right place as this guide has been created to outline several ways that this can be improved in a relatively simple manner. To learn more simply read the complete guide that has been written out for you below.
Have Key Metrics You Want to Aim For
You cannot achieve any aim if you don’t know what that aim is. That’s why it’s essential that your company has key metrics that you can all see in the future when working on the warehouse floor. Before you start work, whether it’s the start of the day, month or even the year, you should have a clear plan to aim for, which can help people feel motivated and work to the best of their ability.
Invest in High Speed Conveyor Belts
In a warehouse, you are often only as good as your technology. One way to make sure objects move across the warehouse floor as quickly as possible is by using high speed conveyor belts. If you don’t have them already then this can be a quick win to improve your warehouse or if you have them but they aren’t working for you, then consider whether or not that they should be replaced. For a great conveyor belt provider, check out the services of fluentconveyors.com.
Embrace Digital Technologies
Digital technology has been widely embraced in warehouse management, especially when it comes to managing stock and making sure that people adhere to just-in-time manufacturing principles, as first observed by the Toshiba factory in Japan, but widely copied in the USA. If your warehouse is not embracing the power of digital technology, you are running the real fear of accelerating inefficiency and losing time and money in the process. Bring in a digital consultant who will be sure to recommend ways that your company can improve.
Only Stock What You Need
Following on from the just-in-time manufacturing principles that have been written below, this is very important when it comes to having the right materials in stock. While it may sound counter-intuitive, you should only have exactly what they need in stock and nothing more, because if you have too much in stock and it isn’t used then this is taking up space that could be used for other items. With a smart management system, you can make sure to always be stocked in time for delivery, all the while minimizing waste in the processing and delivery process.
Have Efficient Workstations
Don’t have your employers wasting time by walking into the warehouse not knowing where their tools are or what their jobs are for the day. A much better idea is to have clearly labelled workstations that can have employees walk in, find their station, get the materials they need and get on with their job, all the while minimizing wastefulness in the process. If you haven’t set up these workstations already, make sure to do it soon as it is an easy win to help improve your company.
Get Great Relationships with Suppliers
The warehouse industry thrives on great relationships. Without solid personal connections with suppliers, it is highly likely that you will fail. Make sure that you network properly and develop these connections so that you have people to rely on when it comes to getting your items in as promptly as possible. If your pre-existing suppliers are not up-to-scratch, then there is no shame in scrapping them in favor of a better relationship.
Your warehouse is only as good as the employees who work in it. While you may be tempted to simply hire in the local area within which you work, this might not actually cause you to get the best workers around. In fact, a better option is to cast as wide a net as possible for the best workers possible. Additionally, make sure that you are taking your time in the hiring process, and perhaps even have a trial shift system in place, so you can make sure that when someone starts working for you proper, you can be absolutely sure that they are the right person for the job. Otherwise, your good company could easily go bad.
Have Incentives in Place
An incentive system is used in many companies, such as Walmart, to great effect as it gives people that motivation to go the extra mile. For example, if someone shifts more units than they are expected in a day, you can give them a monetary boost, making other employees want to work harder than usual. Of course, you will be spending more money as a result of this system, but this should be compensated by the harder work that your employees will engage in as a result of all of these added and exciting incentives. Work with your strategy team to devise an incentive system that works properly so you can easily balance your budget with incentivising hard work.
Don’t Crack the Whip
While Amazon’s approach to warehouse management might have been responsible for them becoming the biggest supplier in the world, you have to ask yourself if the cost of this success is rather bitter, with conditions in these warehouses criticised routinely by both politicians and the media. Additionally, while Amazon are able to beat off union drives (so far), you probably won’t have the same luck if you decide to crack the whip on the warehouse floor. Rather, by treating your workers as fairly as possible, you are likely to get the most out of them.