Why You Should Be Investing in Warehouse Best Practices
November 7, 2022 | Staffing Blog
When you’re in warehouse management, one of the most important things you can do is to continue investing in improving your systems and processes. Taking the time to carefully evaluate your current processes and looking for ways to implement better ways of doing things is one of the most proven ways to improve your bottom line.
Warehouse operations are constantly growing and evolving, so you must continuously look for ways to adapt. Today, you can discover some benefits of investing in warehouse best practices. Doing so will improve employee morale and increase customer satisfaction and productivity.
Benefits of Investing in Warehouse Best Practices
Let’s review our recommendations for how to elevate warehouse management in your company.
1. Improve Inventory Management
A critical aspect of successfully managing a warehouse is knowing how much physical inventory you have on hand compared to how much stock you need. If you don’t have enough materials in your warehouse, you risk angering customers who don’t want to wait on you to get goods and products in stock.
However, if you have too much inventory on hand, you’re tying up capital that can be better spent elsewhere. Trying to strike a balance between having enough and not having too much can be difficult.
Fortunately, you can utilize warehouse management software (WMS) to maintain oversight of your inventory in real-time.
– Being able to track fast-moving products and where you’re spending the most capital on inventory is crucial when you’re trying to manage a successful warehouse.
– Having programs in place that help with cycle counting will help ensure that you have the products that you need in stock while also minimizing the amount of inventory in your warehouse that simply isn’t selling.
– Remember, inventory is cash, so if you have inventory that isn’t moving, you essentially have mountains of cash in your warehouse that isn’t serving any purpose.
A Note about Inventory Tracking
One of the most important inventory management aspects is the tracking process. It may seem overwhelming, but as a warehouse manager, you should be able to determine the location of every item in your inventory within a matter of seconds. If you can’t do that, you can’t expect your team to be able to do that, which will greatly diminish the efficiency of your warehouse.
Whether you’re dealing with items that are on the production line, or you’re determining where merchandise is in the supply chain, it’s important that you invest in inventory tracking services. Doing so improves customer satisfaction and maximizes your employees’ ability to fulfill orders quickly.
2. Streamline Your Processes
Good managers are constantly looking for ways to improve their processes to maximize profitability, and there are certainly plenty of functions within your warehouse.
Marcus Lemonis, the owner of Camping World, Gander, and multiple other companies, says he can determine a business’s success based on three key ingredients: its eople, products, and processes. You can apply those three principles in warehouse management when looking for ways to improve how things work in your warehouse.
For example, cross-docking has become one of the most popular ways to streamline the order fulfillment process. If you’re not familiar with cross-docking, it’s not a difficult concept to implement in your warehouse.
Think about cross-docking this way. Goods and products come into your warehouse, and those same goods and products then go out of your warehouse. What happens between their arrival and their departure can be the difference between success and failure in your role as a warehouse manager.
Cross-docking eliminates much of the “downtime” between arrival and departure. How so? Cross-docking involves unloading products from a truck or another transportation vehicle, sorting it, and then reloading it onto another truck or railroad car.
Essentially, cross-docking takes the storage aspect of warehousing out of the equation. Not only does this free up your warehouse space, but it is also a significant step in reducing costs.
A Note about the Picking Process
Another area where you can streamline operations in your warehouse and distribution center is the picking process. There are countless ways that you can improve the picking process in your warehouse, so investing in warehouse best practices means always looking for a way to do things better in this department.
For example, if you are currently using batch picking – a process in which a single picker visits a single SKU location in order to put that SKU into multiple orders – you may be better served by shifting to a “pick and pass” method.
Comparatively, in pick and pass methods, each picker works in a particular zone and adds needed SKUs into the totes they receive. Once they’ve added all of their SKUs to the tote, they pass those totes onto someone in the next zone.
Choosing the best picking method largely depends on the amount of space you have, how many employees you have, and a variety of other factors. Making the right selection may require trial and error, but you should always be looking for opportunities to invest in warehouse best practices to improve the process.
3. Safety First
Last, but certainly not least, you should invest in best practices that promote safety in your warehouse. No matter what type of products your warehouse primarily specializes in, warehouse work requires heavy lifting.
One example of best practices in warehouse safety is implementing ergonomic hoists that help with heavy lifting. When you begin looking for opportunities to promote employee health and safety, you’re not only operating as an ethical warehouse manager, but you’re also protecting your company from the financial ramifications of lost time.
A Note about Safety Training
You should also consider implementing safety training programs and certifications, and providing some type of incentives for employees who receive those certifications.
When your employees have access to information about how to perform their jobs more safely, they not only become safer employees, but it also helps protect you from some types of potential litigation in the unfortunate event of an employee injury.
Find Support Optimizing Your Warehouse Processes
Warehouse management is an ever-evolving field that requires the willingness to adapt. By continually reviewing your current policies and procedures with the intention of improving them, you are truly setting yourself up for success.
In addition to investing in warehouse best practices, you should also ensure that your warehouse is staffed with the best talent for the job. That’s where we come in. Allegiance Staffing can provide you with a labor solution that fits your operating reality in the warehouse.
Contact Allegiance Staffing today if you are looking for staffing solutions for your warehouse. Our team can identify the right talent that fits your need, putting you in a position to succeed.