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Maintaining your warehouse to maximise its efficiency and organisation is crucial, especially as your business expands and reaches more customers.
Increasing the efficiency of your warehouse is not only essential to increase productivity, but it can also increase workplace safety and makes it much easier for your business to scale up when this becomes necessary.
In the sections below, you can find easy-to-implement tips to enhance your warehouse’s daily operations and premises space. Don’t forget that it is all an ongoing project!
Optimise the Warehouse’s Space
Among the main challenges for warehouse managers and owners is space availability. No matter how spacious your premises are, you will always feel like more space is needed to accommodate your growing customer base. However, before setting off on a hunt for bigger premises, there is a lot you can do to optimise your existing space.
Inventory management is definitely a big component of efficiently organising your warehouse space. Undoubtedly, a lean approach to inventory can help you limit the goods that need storing.
However, you should also evaluate the space in your warehouse to ensure that your goods are organised, accessible, and easy to select. To maximise your space, you should look at the vertical space that you can leverage. Instead of expanding your warehouse’s footprint, consider taller storage units, racks, and stackable containers.
These systems are used in warehouses across the world and allow you to streamline your daily operations. However, it is essential to also invest in the right equipment for your staff to select and pack stacked items in all safety.
Use Automation and the Latest Technologies
Not all kinds of technologies are suitable for every warehouse. However, understanding which ones are truly helpful for your business is crucial to save precious labour, reduce budget, and easily scale up your business when you need to. For this, a warehouse management system, or WMS, is essential.
Similarly to an ERP with WMS functionalities, this software allows you to use technology to minimise error and streamline operations. It does so by recommending the most efficient routes, automated pick lists, and labour use. Thanks to barcodes and RFID (radio frequency identification) systems, WMS software ensures that your employees can safely access and monitor information at all times.
Keep It Organised and Reduce Clutter
If your warehouse is messy or cluttered, your employees will have to spend time looking for items, searching for tools, and waiting for the right information. By keeping the premises organised and free of clutter, you can cut down this unnecessary waste of time and improve productivity.
Each warehouse has a unique organisational system. If you are yet to find one that works for your business, you should consider applying the 5S rule – Sort, Set, Shine, Standardise, and Sustain. By using this approach, your employees will keep their workstations organised and free of clutter throughout the day.
Process the Packages Received Immediately
One area that usually requires improvements is the one involving the procedures to receive goods. Without a standardised method in place, it is possible for your deliveries and stock to end up piled up at the entrance. Aside from using up space, poor receiving practices can slow down your employee’s operations and create considerable safety issues. So, you should devise a strategy that ensures that the goods received are immediately processed and stored.
Reduce Wastage of Resources
As we have seen, a tailored WMS system is your most important ally when trying to organise an efficient warehouse. However, if your software does not have certain functionalities, you should ensure that you are not involuntarily wasting labour, materials, and resources. To do so, start by learning more about your usage stats and waste statistics.
This will give you all the right indications to make your warehouse more efficient. For example, if your heavier goods are stored at the back of the building, your employee might have to travel further and with heavier loads. This extends timeframes, increases labour waste, and decreases levels of safety.
Invest in PVC Curtains
Your warehouse design is just as important when refining your business’s efficiency. Luckily, manufacturers have been investing millions of pounds in researching the safest and most efficient ways to store goods, increase warehouse safety, and reduce the need for manual labour.
Aside from racks and shelving, the most important aspect to consider is PVC curtains. When properly installed, these curtains allow you to:
- Regulate the warehouse’s temperature
- Prevent goods from spoiling
- Safeguard your employee’s health and wellbeing
While low cost, PVC curtains are essential to increase energy efficiency, reduce the price of bills, and maintain high-quality standards.