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10 Ideas for a More Efficient Warehouse Operation

By david.yarbrough | April 10, 2015 | Blog

Businesses often consider picking operations efficient if products roll out on time and customers are kept happy. While these factors are inevitably important to any operation, warehouse management services are currently undergoing a massive reorganization—and keeping current with trends is essential.

Here are 10 ideas that can contribute to the most dramatic improvement on operation efficiency in the warehouse.

1. Keep it Clean

Pallets and other shipping containers can quickly take up space. Breaking down unnecessary boxes, disposing of waste and moving the pallets out of the way makes it easier to move around.

2. Increase Receiving Area

Bringing in multiple shipments in a short span of time makes it nearly impossible to move around, creates traffic jams and wastes time. Add more space to avoid this.

3. Profile Orders

For most companies, the most popular SKUs are seasonal, so switching the product and storage placement inside the warehouse for different seasons makes it easier.

4. Upgrade the Software

The best software sequences orders. This helps batch items together so items designated for the day’s shipment can all be pulled at once, instead of one order at a time.

5. Automation

About 60 percent of a picker's time is spent walking a product from the shelves to the front. By installing a conveyance system, it expedites this process.

6. Understand Available Technology

While there are different pieces of equipment that can improve productivity, it all comes down to cost effectiveness and what a business can afford. Some of the most recent advancements are bar codes, pick-to-label and voice activated technology.

7. Double Check

Nothing draws warehouse productivity to a halt like sending out the wrong items. This is a simple mistake that can be avoided by just double-checking the order before it goes out.

8. Accommodate High Volume Activity

Certain products move faster and ship in larger volumes. This generates more activity around the product, so always make sure there is enough space to accommodate this higher volume.

9. Wheelhouse Zone

The items that go out more frequently should be placed at waist and shoulder level, so it is easier to pick it up and move on to the next item.

10. Cut Down on Shipping Cartons

If there are a dozen shipping carton options, it can take the picker more time to alter the carton to see if everything fits. Offering only two or three options reduces this problem and speeds up the process.

Staying on top of current trends and analyzing daily processes can lead to an increase in efficiency. By putting an emphasis on operational procedures and utilizing current technology and trends, businesses will subsequently be able to focus on customer satisfaction.

For more information about warehouse efficiency and our web based inventory management software, contact SphereWMS today at 866.887.2972.