Warehouses are used in a range of industries from manufacturing to e-commerce for storing stock and inventory. The efficiency of your business could be dependent on the efficiency of your warehouse – an inefficient warehouse could result in costly errors or slow deliveries. Over the last few decades, customer demand has greatly increased and warehouses have had to make big changes to keep up. By investing in some of these warehouse improvements, you could increase your company’s efficiency and return.
Embrace a lean inventory
A lean inventory involves only stocking what you need. This can make your inventory much easier to manage. Alternatively, it could allow you to expand your inventory by storing smaller amounts of each item. Consider items that are sitting gathering dust on shelves – make a habit of ordering such stock in smaller quantities or not ordering it at all if it’s not getting used as isn’t for emergency purposes.
Optimize your layout
Items should be laid out in a logical pattern that makes them easy to locate. This could include storing items that are often sold or used together in the same section for easy access. You should also focus on creating a sense of flow throughout the warehouse so that there aren’t bottlenecks. This could include trying to create a circuit instead of a maze of dead ends. On top of this, focus on using more vertical space and less floor space so that getting around the warehouse is easier. WMS software could help you to find the best layout.
Switch to mobile pallet racking
Floor stacking is the most traditional and affordable way of storing palettes. However, switching to pallet racking allows you to use more space, making it more efficient in the long run. One way of further upgrading this style of pallet racking could be to switch to mobile pallet racking. By fitting pallet racks on fixed tracks on the floor, you can then densely pack them together, optimizing even more space in your warehouse.
Start using RFID readers
Radiofrequency identification (RFID) readers can be useful for reducing stock-keeping and picking errors. In fact, one study found that RFID readers increased inventory accuracy by 27% in a matter of weeks. They allow you to easily keep track of each item and its location, by scanning a tag on the item at every stage of the process. It’s much more efficient than manually keeping count of your inventory.
Make full use of WMS software
Warehouse management system (WMS) software is often used alongside RFID readers to easily track each item. However, this software can be used for so much more. With the right software, you can generate efficient picking plans and find the most cost-effective and convenient location for every item. Spend some time getting to understand your software and what it can do for you. If you’re currently using old software, consider whether it’s worth migrating to newer software in order to take advantage of the latest capabilities that this technology has to offer.
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