Multi-Location Warehouse Management Tips for Success
June 6, 2022 | Staffing Blog
It’s challenging enough to manage one warehouse. There are so many considerations for creating efficiencies, supporting safety, optimizing production, reducing costs, and keeping your talent engaged.
Then, if you are responsible for managing more than one location, the challenges quickly multiply! That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends for multi-location warehouse management. We’ll share some of our insights to help you succeed as a warehouse manager.
5 Keys to Multi-Location Warehouse Management
Consider the following tips for managing multiple warehouse locations related to processes, real-time visibility, inventory management, technology, and labor optimization.
1. Review Your Processes
Processes should be consistent from one warehouse to another, and you should aim to develop one set of processes that can be applied across all of your operations. This way, you can quickly determine whether teams are following processes and identify gaps that need to be addressed. Then, you can refine the processes over time.
The challenge is that not every warehouse is the same:
- One warehouse might be larger than the others.
- There could be more teams at one location versus another.
- One warehouse might support a unique aspect of the supply chain.
Despite the differences, you should strive to create a universal set of company-wide processes that creates synergy between each facility. It can be challenging to incorporate the unique aspects of each facility, which is why you should continually review processes to ensure that each need is being met.
2. Achieve Real-Time Visibility
In today’s fast-paced warehouse environment, you need real-time visibility into all of your warehouse locations. Ensure you have the appropriate tools that allow you to monitor warehouse activity as it happens, allowing you to make key managerial decisions based on what you’re seeing.
If you don’t have the appropriate tools, then talk to your company about upgrading your systems and capabilities to provide you with greater visibility. There is too much at stake to be in reaction mode, waiting until the end of the day/week/month/quarter to make adjustments or take corrective action. You need to be able to quickly respond and formulate solutions to problems in real-time, not after the fact.
3. Monitor Inventory Levels
One of the key reasons why you need to achieve real-time visibility is to track inventory levels across all of your warehouse locations. This way, you can send teams into action supporting the primary function of a warehouse:
- Move inventory from one location to another.
- Order new inventory from suppliers.
- Resolve customer requests during inventory shortages.
This step also supports a critical aspect of multi-location warehouse management: effective communication. Communication can easily fall by the wayside when managing multiple warehouse locations. By actively monitoring inventory levels in real-time, you can help your teams stay engaged in their roles supporting fundamental warehouse functions:
- Help bridge communication gaps between each facility.
- Provide critical data to each location to help them take the appropriate action.
- Foster a healthy culture built on collaboration and cross-facility support.
4. Utilize the Latest Technology
There is amazing new technology that can help increase productivity and reduce costs in the warehouse managing inventory. One way is through the use of automation and robotics that can help your warehouses get more done in less time.
In fact, there is a growing trend of renting robots to help businesses scale their warehouse operations without needing to break the bank by purchasing expensive equipment. It’s called Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS). Look into whether this is the right fit for your multi-warehouse operations.
5. Have the Right Talent for the Job
Finally, there is the critical human element of a multi-warehouse setup. You need to have the right talent for the job. Warehouse managers should actively monitor key metrics across each facility:
- Production levels
- Engagement levels
- Injuries and safety incidents
- Unwanted turnover
- Dependence on overtime
- Cost of labor
Look for trends – both positive and negative – at each facility. For example, you could see an uptick in production but over-dependence on overtime, which is contributing to a rise in unwanted turnover and labor costs. This could point to the idea that you are getting more done with fewer workers, but your workers are leaving the company because they feel overworked.
Each facility will tell you a different story. Look for ways to optimize your labor force to have the right mix of productive and engaged talent that can get the job done in a healthy work environment. Or consider sharing talent from one facility to another to help fill gaps. Stay actively involved in managing your people!
Get in Touch with Allegiance to Discuss a Warehouse Solution
It’s challenging yet rewarding to successfully manage multiple warehouse locations. We believe these tips will help you find ways to improve warehouse operations at each facility.
We can also help by providing you with a strategic labor solution that fits your needs. During a consultation with our team, we’ll discuss your current operating reality and look for ways to fill key roles in each facility. Then, we’ll execute the plan by providing you with access to vetted, high-quality talent.
Get in touch with our team of experts today to support multi-location warehouse management in your company. We are confident that we can help you realize production growth, efficiencies, and cost savings!