Regardless of the type of business you’re in, it can always benefit from improvements. Companies that produce or distribute goods, in particular, can save money and realize growth from streamlining and optimizing warehouse operations.
Truly revamping your warehouse takes money, time, and effort, but the return on investment has the potential to greatly outweigh your expenditures. Although you may have been a warehouse manager for years, taking courses can introduce you to new ideas and technologies.
How Can You Improve Your Warehouse?
The first step to making your facility more profitable is to study current conditions:
- Gather relevant numbers and data
- Speak to department heads, supervisors, and line leads to get their input
- Evaluate your current technology
- Examine your equipment and it’s placement
- Analyze inventory and productivity figures and processes
- Study employee performance
Determining what is working well and what isn’t shows you the areas that you need to focus on. When you have an informed idea of where you should improve, you’re ready to decide how to improve.
As you implement changes to optimize your warehouse operations, a process map can keep you on track and define goals. Using a process-mapping tool allows you to break down projects, clarify responsibilities, and establish objectives.
Ever-evolving technology can greatly benefit your workflows and controls. When choosing specific software, look to the future. It’s a good idea to purchase scalable solutions that will grow along with your business.
There’s a fine line between producing enough inventory, not enough, or too much. Inventory management software can show you your current inventory levels in addition to the times and quantities involved in inventory coming in and going out. It can also tell you when you’ll need to reorder and the associated costs.
Time tracking software also allows you to keep up with hours spent on particular projects or customers, in addition to suggesting how many employee hours you can schedule.
Project management software lets you see each step involved in your processes. When you know exactly how much time and expense is associated with each step, you can evaluate and find ways to both improve your workflow and reduce costs.
Your customers drive your inventory and production. Integrating the above types of software with a comprehensive customer relationship management platform makes good business sense because the result shows you the overall business picture.
All types of equipment need regular maintenance, and it can wear out over time. New product lines might require new machines or production lines. Sometimes the addition of something simple like a conveyor belt can increase productivity. Realistically evaluate the condition and versatility of your existing equipment to see if purchasing new equipment is warranted.
Floor Space Utilization
While warehouses rarely expand horizontally, you can gain a great deal of usable space by adding vertical components. This might be replacing one-level storage with shelving or adding a mezzanine over your existing floor. That way, you’re getting optimal use from your square footage.
If your employee production levels aren’t satisfactory, take a look at the reasons why. Is there a lot of downtime? Are they using the most efficient procedures? Are enough material handlers and packers assigned to the machine or production line, or are machine operators and production teams having to perform those duties also?
Once you pinpoint the reasons for unsatisfactory production levels, you can implement solutions to fix those particular problems.
Are You Inspired Now?
Optimizing your warehouse operations takes time, effort, and money. However, doing so leads to smoother procedures, greater control, and an opportunity to boost your company’s growth
When you’re ready to scale your business, Lead2Goals provides individual coaching, education, and skills enhancement through personalized courses and workshops. Call (949) 202-5763 to learn more!
Jenna Sherman | Guest Author
Jenna Sherman is a mom of three (two girls and a boy). She hopes to help other parents acquire the skills they need to raise future leaders by providing a collection of valuable, up-to-date, authoritative resources. She created parent-leaders.com as an avenue for parents who want to make sure their children grow up to be strong, independent, successful adults.