Warehousing and distribution have never been as complex as they are today. With advances in technology and competitive delivery times, consumer expectations are at an all-time high. The pressure for businesses to meet high-speed delivery demands can put a strain on overall operations, so it’s extremely important to keep your warehouse logistics running smoothly.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to warehouse operations, there are a set of simple efficiency principles that should be applied. To help you stay on top of your warehouse management and ensure storage facilities don’t generate unnecessary costs, take a look at these four common warehousing mistakes:
1. Holding Excess Inventory
Holding excess inventory is one of the biggest mistakes warehouses often make. If you don’t have sufficient space and staffing support, excess inventory can be costly, hazardous and even slow down the supply chain. While it might be easier to buy stock at a wholesale price, it also leaves your money tied up in stock, which can be risky if the supply demand suddenly drops.
If you have no other choice but to buy discounted wholesale items, try to arrange to get the large orders delivered in smaller batches as you need them. Otherwise, you may need to upgrade your storage capacity.
2. Poorly Planned Picking Paths & Space
Another common mistake is failing to optimise picking paths. Efficient picking paths lead to more effective use of time for the staff preparing orders and requires less time moving around the warehouse. Failure to optimise picking paths can result in slower turnaround times and unnecessary labour costs.
To avoid this, consider the layout of your warehouse including the location of SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit) and shipping areas. Items that are often purchased together should be stored close together and the order packing process should also be linear so employees finish at a location closest to shipping area.
3. No Plan for Future Growth
Forgetting to plan for the future is a mistake that should always be avoided! Often warehouses are leased making them expensive to maintain, along with other expenses like insurance and climate control. While no one wants to pay for unnecessary space with no guarantee of expanding in the future – it’s sensible to plan for potential growth and avoid overcrowded inventory and poor operations.
A good plan should anticipate changes in the market, seasonal effects on inventory and technological advances. It should outline contingency plans for when growth is needed – such as adding more pallet racks, managing overstock and rearranging picking paths.
4. Infrequent Audits
A lack of regular warehouse auditing can be easily overlooked especially during busy periods. However, regular audits will ensure that your warehouse is functioning efficiently, cost-effectively and safely.
Audits can be regularly implemented by a manager within the company or an external consultant. The purpose of the audit should be explained to any of the staff involved and results need to be communicated so that improvements can be made. The audit should consider:
- Hygiene & Cleanliness
- Hazardous Areas
- Cost & Quality Control
- Processing Times
At All Storage Systems, we strive to improve efficiencies for your business. We offer complete warehouse design services, from layout and planning to warehouse auditing and complete supply and installation. No matter your industry, our team of specialists can design the perfect shelving storage system to suit your warehouse and needs.
Contact our sales team on 1800 772 726 or firstname.lastname@example.org for advice or book an audit and organise a free fitout consultation.