What makes an efficient warehouse? Many companies would say that their warehouse is efficient as long as customer orders are shipped on time. While this is most certainly a good goal (and a beneficial by-product of efficiency), shipping orders on time does not make for an efficient warehouse. Efficiency is achieved by automating manual processes, reorganizing the warehouse so high-use items are instantly available, and finding ways to save time in the manufacturing/distribution process. By implementing new technology and strategies, you could transform your warehouse and begin to achieve even greater levels of success.
Here are a few tips to help you create a more efficient warehouse:[gearlist]
- Reorganize your warehouse at least once a year
In order to create a more efficient warehouse, you need to organize the warehouse floor according to your most popular items/products. Since your most popular items will change from season to season, make sure that you reevaluate your item locations accordingly. We recommend that you review your warehouse setup at least once a year. This will ensure that the correct items are in the correct bins and physical location, reducing any unnecessary travel for your order pickers. You can also improve your storage methods (and order picker efficiency) by placing slow-moving items in bin shelving and fast-moving items in pallet (or other appropriate storage options) flow. This will help you better utilize the warehouse floor so your order pickers can get customer orders out on time, every time.
- Revisit your current picking methods
Make sure that your current picking methods suit your warehouse. Whether you choose single order, multi-order, batch picking with a single picker, or zone picking, the correct picking method is critical for improving warehouse efficiency. If you’re using the wrong picking method, your productivity (and overall warehouse efficiency) will suffer.
- Organize workflow with warehouse management software
A warehouse management system (WMS) can bring a tremendous amount of order to your warehouse. In addition to providing your company with the visibility you need into the warehouse, a WMS can help you sequence your orders by pick path and batch together single lines, same-zone orders, and difficult picks. It will also help you organize workflow and optimize sequence performance so you can save time on the distribution floor and get products into your customers’ hands faster.
- Automate processes with barcoding software
If you don’t do anything else, make sure that you implement a barcoding solution. Barcoding software, such as MAS 90 barcoding, MAS 200 barcoding and MAS 500 barcoding software (now known as Sage 100 and Sage 500 barcoding software), reduces the amount of time spent between production and shipping and improves order accuracy. Most barcoding software solutions connect directly to your WMS or ERP system so company executives have real-time visibility into the warehouse.
As you can see, creating an efficient warehouse doesn’t require a whole lot of time and effort. It just requires some planning and the proper utilization of technology. While reorganizing your warehouse or implementing a barcode software solution such as MAS 90 / 200 barcoding software may seem like a daunting task, it will save you time (and money) in the long run. Plus, your warehouse will run more efficiently so you can start processing more orders faster. It’s a win-win situation all around!
Barcoding software such as MAS 90 barcoding, MAS 200 barcoding and MAS 500 barcoding software (now known as Sage 100 / Sage 500 barcoding software) will improve your warehouse efficiency significantly. If you don’t believe us, take a look at how it has helped other companies just like yours!
If you’re ready to create a more efficient warehouse, give us a call (or shoot us an email) today. Our warehouse experts will be more than happy to discuss your needs, whether that be for a new barcoding solution or a warehouse efficiency consultation.