As competition among manufacturers and distributors continues to rise, companies are constantly looking for ways to maximize their efficiency and gain better control over their inventory. By closely examining the company’s operational capabilities as they relate to changing warehouse environments, companies can zero in on strategies to improve efficiency and optimize inventory.
Challenges to the warehouse environment can present themselves in a number of ways: acquiring new customers with complex order requirements, new ownership, and added channels (such as web stores, retail stores or distribution centers). In order to ease the effects of these changes, companies need to re-evaluate their processes, optimize their inventory, and find ways to increase overall efficiency.
The first step to overcoming these challenges to your warehouse is to focus on improving your supply chain. The following tips were designed to help you improve your company’s supply chain:
- Choose a warehouse management solution that was designed for your industry
Warehouse management systems (WMS) can help manufacturers gain better control over their warehouse processes and increase visibility into the warehouse. With hundreds of warehouse management systems available to choose from, manufacturers and distributions can find a solution tailored to fit their individual needs. Before you purchase your warehouse management solution, make sure that you have done your research. Only consider solutions that are designed for your industry, and don’t worry about finding a solution that meets every one of your needs. If it meets the majority of your company’s needs, you can always get it customized.In order to overcome the challenges common to warehouse environments, companies need the right tools. A warehouse management system can provide you with the tools you need to face whatever challenges come your way.
- Include your employees
Employees are essential to overcoming warehouse challenges and improving warehouse efficiency. Give your employees greater visibility by showing them how their work affects the end-all product (and your customers). If they can see how their work impacts the final product and a customer’s satisfaction, your employees will be more driven to commit their time and energy into solving warehouse challenges and improving efficiency.
- Manage your supply chain information
Supply chain management solutions and warehouse management software should facilitate the proper collection and identification of data to allow for rapid decisions to be made. Software users should be able to easily collect relevant information that aligns with the business’ objectives. Once the proper information is collected, users can create reports for upper management or otherwise ensure that all key employees have access to the information.
- Implement tracking technology
Today’s warehouse have no excuse for poor efficiency. Barcoding software and solutions such as Scanco’s Sage 100 barcoding software (formerly Sage MAS 90 barcoding software and Sage MAS 200 barcoding software) can help companies minimize costs, reduce inaccuracies, and improve efficiency. Handheld barcoding devices can be implemented to achieve greater mobility in the warehouse, allowing employees to track important data and view product locations from any location.
- Reorganize your warehouse
Companies wishing to achieve greater inventory control need to review the organizations of their warehouse at least once a year. While a certain setup may have worked a few years ago, it could be a stumbling block to the production process today. By going into the warehouse and reorganizing everything, you can create a better setup for achieving greater efficiency and productivity levels.
An efficient warehouse is a prepared warehouse. By focusing on improving the supply chain process, your company will be better equipped to meet challenges head-on.
If your company would like to look further into implementing barcoding solutions, give us a call today. Our Sage 100 barcoding software and Sage 500 barcode software solutions could be the perfect fit for your company.