If your business is doing good, that’s a good sign. It means you’re able to please your customers, and you’re ready to stay for a long time in the industry. This isn’t always an easy feat to accomplish, given the strong competition nowadays. Likewise, this victory also comes with another responsibility: now, you’ll need a place to store all the goods you’re selling. This is where your warehouse comes into the picture.
Proper warehouse management is one of the top contributing factors to your business’s success. Otherwise, when this top standard isn’t met, then you won’t be able to please your customers, too. Whether you have state-of-the-art warehouse management technology or do things manually, what matters the most is whether you can keep your warehouse operating efficiently and effectively.
Having consulted some of the best warehouse managers for some tips, here, you’ll learn straight from them a range of processes to apply for warehouse fulfillment. Read on!
1. Get To Know And Master The Key Processes In Warehouse Operations
You can’t go as far and detailed as possible in ensuring smooth warehouse operations if you haven’t mastered its key processes yet. It’s always a good idea to go back to basics, as these form the foundation of your understanding of what it takes to have successful warehouse operations.
To start, here’s a brief run-down of those key processes:
- Receiving – This is the first step in the warehouse fulfillment process, consisting of other subprocesses, such as delivering, receiving, and unloading warehouse inventory.
- Picking – This refers to the process of picking individual or certain stocks from the warehouse to the fulfillment facility after specific orders have been made by a customer.
- Packing – This is done after each order for every customer is identified, now packed to prepare it for shipping or dispatching.
- Dispatching – In this step, the goods are being made ready for pickup by freight companies, to be delivered to the customers’ addresses.
- Returns – This is the last step, one that the warehouse team doesn’t really like. However, these are inevitable in cases of sending wrong or defective products.
2. Maximize And Optimize All Available Space
It doesn’t matter how big or small your warehouse is. There has to be that focus on accuracy as to all vital aspects, including available space, so you’re able to optimize the space that you have.
Assess your warehouse at present and check if you’ve maximized all the available space. Perhaps, there’s still vertical space you can make use of?
When land and rent are expensive, optimizing available vertical space can spell a big difference in ensuring your warehouse operates at its best while keeping the costs minimal.
3. Avoid Procrastination
When you receive shipments, make it a point to sort through them and place them in the right locations in your warehouse right away. Don’t put this off until later.
Procrastination is the top enemy of efficiency. If you wait until later to go through that massive shipment and put them away as early as that first step, you’re already affecting the smooth flow of operations in your entire warehouse.
Avoiding procrastination should be a minimum rule or standard that everyone in your warehouse team should observe. This ensures minimal delays and, most importantly, that every team member is promptly doing their job.
4. Use A Warehouse Management System
Today is all about making use of technology in the best way possible. Many business owners have already benefited from it, and you can, too. If you’re still using manual processes for your warehouse, then it’s time to level up your efficiency through automation. Practice due diligence, perform your research, and choose a warehouse management system that supports your business’s needs.
With that, be mindful of these things to look for when you choose your next warehouse management system:
- Select the software that connects your warehouse and your store. This system keeps your inventory levels updated, so when your store runs low, you can make advanced pull-outs from your warehouse without any delays. You can avoid that unpleasant situation of having disgruntled customers when they’re told to wait, as the stocks are still inside your warehouse.
- Choose a warehouse management system with a strong and long-standing history of good ROI. Look for figures demonstrated through the software, like the time saved per hour, the percentage of increase in order processing speed, the percentage of improvement in accuracy, and the number of dollars saved.
- Select the software that’s most compatible with the current warehouse equipment you already have. Therefore, the changes and adjustments you’ll make to enable the software in your warehouse will be minimal.
While most of the tips above may not necessarily be new or groundbreaking, they’re still worth discussing. There’s always room to keep learning more, especially when you’re keen on outsmarting the competition. Nowadays, there’s quite a strong pressure to keep doing and producing more while maintaining your warehouse’s quality and efficiency. Take this reference guide to heart, apply each step one at a time, and then see for yourself the difference it can make for your warehouse.