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With online shopping continuing to expand on a daily basis, warehouse operations are often running at full capacity, and serve as a vital part of the international supply chain. Many facilities handle everything from purchasing, storage, order processing, and delivery to accepting and restocking returns. If your company has a warehouse operations unit, there are a number of ways that you can help increase productivity, lower your costs, and maintain a safe working environment. CASCO outlines a few here.
Invest In Technology And Software
There is a wide variety of warehouse operations-specific technology and software programs on the market that can help improve efficiency when it comes to tracking inventory and orders. This helps reduce errors and streamline processes for your staffers. Top-rated programs include Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, Logiwa, and Fishbowl. No matter what type of programs, tech, or equipment you use, ensuring that your employees are well trained on all systems will allow them to better utilize the tools. This is especially important in an increasingly automated warehouse environment.
If you are operating a small warehouse or are on an extremely tight budget, you may need to exercise some resourcefulness. This is where programming skills can come in handy. Building a warehouse management system in a high-level language like Python, for example, can help bridge the gap.
Improve Your Order Management Systems
Improving the way consumers order from you can promote efficiency, increase sales, and help you establish long-term repeat business. If you need assistance in this area, an experienced app developer can help you manage customer orders. Before hiring a developer, reading online reviews and asking about delivery times can help you narrow the field of prospects.
Organization is central to a warehouse operation running like a well-oiled machine. According to Supply Management, maximize your space by storing items vertically and differentiate the design and color of storage racks to make it easier to find products. If you have certain items that are bought with high frequency, prioritize their placement ahead of lesser-ordered products.
If you have inventory that often goes together — for example, printers and print cartridges — store them in close proximity to speed up order fulfillment time. The right warehouse management system can also help improve efficiency while eliminating paper via the use of mobile readers. Radio frequency identification readers and bar codes can improve operations, as can more efficient, well-outfitted workstations.
Improve Energy Efficiency
Improving the energy efficiency of your operation will help you reduce energy consumption, which in turn, means lower bills and a reduced carbon footprint. A large part of this effort involves keeping up with regular equipment maintenance and replacing equipment as necessary, particularly when you can upgrade to more efficient models. Appropriate insulation and ventilation can also help with climate control issues, as can the design of facilities that meet various sustainability standards. Integrating sustainable practices into your company can be an asset on multiple levels, both in terms of operations and good corporate stewardship.
Train Your Employees to Work Safely and Efficiently
Competition is fierce right now when it comes to hiring qualified warehouse workers. A detailed job description is essential, as is anticipating your staffing needs and recruiting and hiring in advance of crunch times. Ensuring you have the right number of staffers on shifts is important not only to operational efficiency but to reducing the potential for mistakes and errors that could put them and your business at risk. In a fast-paced environment, appropriate onboarding allows employees to be well trained in all aspects of warehouse operations. Cross-training can also help you fill in gaps during especially busy periods, and according to the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive, can reduce the potential for accidents.
Having training videos available can make the training process more efficient and standardized, but hiring someone to create the videos can be expensive. Should you decide to handle it in-house, there are many good stock video options available online, which can help you save money. By using stock footage in conjunction with your own footage, you can create engaging training videos cheaply.
You can set yourself apart and attract better candidates by providing employees with a competitive salary and benefits package, and by offering incentive pay to help speed efficiency. In a tight hiring market, even a few extra dollars here and there can help you pull in the most talented and experienced people in your area. PayScale can help you gauge appropriate salary ranges based on location, experience, and expertise. Also, consider giving current employees a referral fee if they recommend others to your company. This can help with recruiting and retention efforts, as well as serve as an additional perk for your existing workers.
Warehouse operations must continually evolve to ensure productivity, efficiency, and accuracy, as well as improve safety and reduce worksite injuries. By ensuring you have appropriate systems in place and training your staffers accordingly, you can expect to enjoy a booming business.
If your business needs a building designed for it to grow and flourish, visit CASCO today!