Three Ideas to Improve Warehouse Operations
The success of your business could depend on your staff delivering excellent warehouse operations. After the sales and marketing people have spent so much time, money and effort to sell the product, the focus now shifts to you and the warehouse. The goods must be in the quantity needed, easily accessible and well protected. You need to know exactly where the goods are stored, how many you have left, do the paperwork and release them as quickly as possible.
Meeting the ever increasing demands of your customer requires that you improve warehouse operations through constant planning, monitoring and adjusting to changes in the business environment. With the right training and software in place, your organization could already be several steps ahead of your competitors, keeping your business profitable and sustainable.
Here are three ideas to help improve warehouse operations:
1. Implement a Cycle Counting Program
The traditional way of auditing warehouse stock is to stop operations for a couple of days while the audit counts all of the items within the four walls of your warehouse. In today’s business environment, stopping operations for a couple of days is just not possible. Cycle counting techniques have developed over the last few years so that you can spread out the stock item counting over the year and still come up with an inventory accuracy that is acceptable to the finance guys who need this data. Cycle counting correctly requires a training and an understanding of the Pareto principle and an understanding of a little basic statistics.
2. Implement 5S strictly on your Warehouse Workstations
The principles of an efficient warehouse closely match those of the practice of 5S. If your warehouse staff cannot keep his desk and papers tidy, then it is unlikely that he is able to keep the rest of the warehouse neat, tidy and efficient. The piles of papers on his desk may also indicate how much time he wastes looking for information regarding the stocks in the warehouse. If you have a question on particular shipment, can your staff give you an immediate answer or does he have to rummage around his piles of pares first? 5S can be helpful here to ensure quick and efficient response.
3. Implement a Strict Delivery Schedule
You don’t have an unlimited number or workers or hours to receive, inspect and bin newly arrived items. One way to improve warehouse operations is to avoid congestion at your delivery bay. You must insist that vendors follow a delivery schedule (or else…). You cannot have vendors arriving at any time of the day (usually at 4:00 pm just before you close) and expect you to take delivery. Scheduling will help you ensure that you maintain a clear receiving dock and have enough staff to inspect and bin shipments quickly by the end of the work day.
The above are just three suggestions that can improve warehouse operations greatly. These suggestions are the result of the many years of experience of Mr. Raffy Pefianco in supply chain management, research, and from lessons learned over the years of providing specialized training in warehouse management, inventory, and logistics. Subscribe to our newsletter and learn from the ins and outs of supply chain management from RMP Consultancy.
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