There are many different ways to make sure everything at your workplace is done in the best and fastest possible way. The layout of your warehouse and the processes going on have to be at their optimum levels if you really want your business to be successful. In this article, we look at the ten main ways to make your warehouse more efficient.
Evaluate the design
The first thing any warehouse owner should do is to evaluate the design of the space. Analyse if from different aspects such as will you need more space if the demand of the products increases. How many products can you store in the area and what will be the limit when you may need to relocate. Look at how things are arranged in the warehouse; you may be able to create more space just by changing the layout of the area and arranging them in a better way. Also, look at the possible issues that can arise when you try to change the design. This evaluation should be done every year to keep everything updated.
Divide into different sections
No matter how big or small your warehouse is if things are not arranged and placed in their respective divisions, it becomes impossible to complete the tasks on time. Therefore, it is essential to create segmentation within the space so that the daily activities within become much faster and dynamic. Strategies such as 5S (Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) can be used depending on the space and products. This is achieved because workers will know where to look for things, instead of just looking from things randomly stacked together. Some of the primary sections include shipping, production, materials, inventory, packaging and returns.
Use heavy duty containers
Heavy duty containers are an important part of any warehouse when it comes to storing the equipment. But that’s not the only job they do; they are durable and can be used for hundreds of cycles before they begin to worn out. Depending on the type you are using, they can last for up to several years. Some of the other benefits include strength, as they can carry hundreds of kilos without any issues. You have more space for processing, assembling, distributing and picking items without any worries.
Warehouse management systems
Warehouse management systems (WMS) are software that helps to improve the productivity and efficiency of the space by tracking everything from inventory and supplies as they move from one place to the other. They also help to automate processes such as picking, discarding and accurately counting products. When everything is in order, you can easily avoid any delays and find the causes of issues arising.
If you have everything appropriately labelled within the warehouse, it becomes easy for workers to find them without wasting much time. It also helps to remember which are the products that are still available and the ones that need to be repurchased. Instead of depending on memory, everything is written on the boxes in their respective sections such as the date of purchase, the quantity, sizes, expiry date and even colour depending on the item. If you don’t want to enter the details manually, then using barcode recognition is also possible.
Using ergonomic equipment
You should always keep in mind the limitations and capabilities of workers in the workspace and then design the warehouse layout. Not doing so results in fatigued workers and can also cause accidents. An ergonomic system removes such risks and allows for people to show better performance and productivity. Some of the most common ergonomic equipment includes monitor arms, keyboard trays, document holders, lumbar support, wrist support gloves and glare filters.
Another way to create efficiency within the warehouse is to make your picking process faster. This can be done by keeping your fast moving stock keeping units in the area where you can access them easily; such as placing them in the waist to shoulder sections of the shelves. This not only reduces accidents, decreases repetitive strain injuries, but also allows for faster picking.
No matter how big or small your warehouse is and the steps you have taken to make it more efficient, if there will be mess around the space, then nothing will be of any use. A clean area provides clarity to workers in different matters such as where to look for things, how to carry them from one place to another. In addition to that, it saves any incidents that may cause harm to people working. It is also possible that something is available, but you cannot find them because everything is disorganised and you may end up rebuying it even when there was no need.
Beneficial storing system
The standard way for most unorganised warehouses to store things is the floor stacking system. Everything is placed on the floor on top of each other, and it may seem like you know where everything is, but when the time comes, it becomes impossible to reach and locate them. It is better, therefore, to go for the pallet racking system, which not only saves space but has a better organisation. Since everything is placed vertically in different segments, it is easier to reach them, and you can store more products in the space with better management.
If you want to go a step ahead and have money to spend, then using mechanical systems such as a conveyer belt makes a lot of sense to streamline everything within the space. Most of the time in a workspace is spend in picking the products and bringing them to the destination which can be sped up to 60% through these systems.
In conclusion, your warehouse can benefit massively from the steps mentioned above. But keep in mind every workspace is different from others, analyse your warehouse correctly, point out the things that need improvement, come up with a workable plan to make improvements and then go about making it more efficient.