For most businesses, the warehouse plays the largest part. This is because they are not only dealing with your products going out the door to your customers, but they are receiving components and shipments from your suppliers too. If, for instance, your warehouse is running behind schedule, it is likely that there will be a knock-on effect throughout your business. Those workers waiting for components from deliveries will be sitting idle, and this will undoubtedly lead to customer orders being delayed or incomplete. Missing deadlines can lead to more than just embarrassment on your part, and can also lead to late delivery penalties, reputation damage, and ultimately, the loss of customer orders.
This means that it is highly important to get your warehouse running like clockwork and be as efficient as possible when dealing with the daily workload.
#1 Equip Your Warehouse
It is bad time efficiency to have your employees waiting around to use machinery that is already in use. It is far better to have machines sitting idle than employees. You should consider getting an upgrade and get automated warehouse systems. This could seem like an extravagance that you cannot afford but there are cheaper ways than purchasing this equipment brand new from the suppliers. This is in the fact that you can purchase preloved items, or refurbished items, but if that still seems too expensive, then there is always the opportunity to rent the equipment that you will need either daily, weekly, or every month.
#2 Train All Warehouse Employees
Having lots of machinery available for your warehouse employees to use is all well and good, but if they will not be used safely or efficiently or if your employees do not know how to use them, they may as well not be there. All warehouse employees should be well trained on the safety measures and conduct, as well as given a complete course on how to use each piece of machinery you have on-site, to aid their working capabilities. This will reduce product damage, the risk of injuries and accidents, as well as the potential risk of damage to your machinery.
#3 Zone and Label Respective Areas
Of course, it is not just down to the machinery that you have within your warehouse. Having your stock easily found when in storage is also an important time-saving factor. To aid in this, you should venture to have areas well documented in what they house. This can be on the side stacks of racking, on the floor, or suspended from ceiling joists.
This signage can be custom-made by using a custom stencil, but you must choose fonts and sizes that can be easily read at a distance, as well as colors that stand out and are clear against the background color that you choose. Of course, with these stencils, the right size can also be used to mark floor bays, as well as access routes for your warehouse machinery.
It is prudent to make sure that you have enough warehouse equipment to go around your employees and that all of your warehouse employees are well-trained to use each piece of equipment they are likely to come into contact with. This alone will cut down on the amount of waiting time that happens within a warehouse environment. In this, though, you should also make sure that all products are easy to locate and that there are dedicated routes marked out for large machinery so that there is a reduced chance of traffic jams around your site.