Now is the time many manufacturers and distributors are reassessing their goals for the year, analyzing their 2nd quarter financials, and working on creating solutions for the problems that arose during the first two quarters of 2014. While every company has a different set of goals and obstacles to overcome, there seems to be one common desire among manufacturers and distributors of all sizes: to increase efficiency and improve productivity. With warehouse costs rising and competition increasing by the day, manufacturers and distributors are looking for ways to cut costs where they can. By increasing the efficiency by which they make and distribute products, manufacturers and distributors can regain some of their lost profits and boost their chances for success in the global marketplace.
Creating an efficient warehouse is the goal for many manufacturers and distributors; however, many of them have a hard time knowing what they need to do to get there. While warehouse management systems (WMS), ERP software, and mobile applications can certainly help you improve your efficiency, automate your processes, and reach your profitability goals, there are also several practical things you can do to get a head start. By incorporating the following tips with your existing warehouse management software and established processes, you will begin to reap the benefits of an efficient warehouse.
- Make sure everyone has a responsibility. In order for your warehouse to operate effectively, everyone needs to have a specific task for which they are in charge. Make sure every one of your employees is aware of their responsibility and hold them accountable to get the job done in a timely manner. Consider implementing periodic performance reviews and weekly meetings to ensure your employees are aware of their job-related responsibilities.
- Document any inefficiencies you see in the warehouse and compare them with historical data. If you see a glaring inefficiency, make a note of it. Keep track of any important procedural changes in the warehouse and compare them to historical data. This will give you an idea of how you can go about address major inefficiencies and allow you to see what has worked (and what hasn’t worked) in the past.
- Show your employees the bigger picture. If you want your employees to truly value and appreciate their jobs, then show them the big picture. Present your results to your employees so they can see how their work is making an impact on the business. Educate them on how their daily (seemingly insignificant) tasks directly impact the company’s profit. This will provide them with a stronger sense of purpose and motivate them to become more efficient and do the job well.
- Involve seniors and executives. It’s been said that leaders who actively engage in the day-to-day process have a unique and first-hand perspective on how things are done. Encourage your managers and executives to walk the floor and interact with your employees. Make sure they have an inside knowledge of how the company runs so they can suggest ways to improve efficiency on all levels.
- Train your employees on new technology. Technology can help you make great strides in meeting your efficiency goals; however, in order to be effective, your employees need to be trained properly on the software and solutions you are using. Make sure that your employees have received adequate training on warehouse management software and applications prior to using it on a regular basis. This will ensure a smooth and successful implementation and allow you to reap the full benefits of the new system.
Technology is necessary if you want to improve your warehouse efficiency. Warehouse management software solutions, such as our Sage 100 mobile app Scanco Warehouse, can provide you with the necessary tools to increase your efficiency and profitability. For more information about our warehouse management applications, give us a call today.