Ideas To Improve Warehouse Operation

October 22nd, 2012

The warehouse operations for the stock inventory need to be monitored from time to time to find out whether the organization is wasting money in storing products and materials.

Cubic Feet of Storage

Evaluate how well you are using the storage space you have. Inefficient storage can cause you to add warehouse space you don’t need and to limit orders that you think you can’t store. You may have enough space; you just may not be using it well. Decide if ideas like racking, mezzanines and conveyor belt systems can help you use space better.

Look at Critical Inventory Levels

Make sure you have established critical inventory levels for each product. This is the level below which you may not be able to meet demand. Set an acceptable inventory level by averaging how much of the product you carry per month and adding a percentage for safety stock. One of your strategies for assessing warehouse operations should be to evaluate how inventory levels are maintained.

Evaluate Pick Locations

As much as 70 percent of a stock picker’s time is spent walking through the warehouse. Evaluate whether you need to locate important inventory (fast-moving stock) near the stock pickers so they can easily get to it. Assess your operation by how much time is spent looking for stock or walking to it.

Assess Your Need for Bar Code Technology

If you do not have bar code technology, evaluate how it can help you track items in the warehouse. If you do have bar code technology, look at how well your employees are using it. Bar codes can help you track products, speed up the retrieval process and eliminate paperwork.

Examine Your Ability to Expand Storage Space

Based on sales forecasts, look at how much additional product you could store if you had to. Evaluate the warehouse operation in terms of its ability to be flexible, and provide space for new products or new product sizes.

Analyze Product Locations

If you have one product stored in several locations, assess whether that is the most efficient way to store it. Also, evaluate whether employees know where to find multiple locations for a product. You may want to consolidate locations so that products are not too spread out, causing unnecessary reordering and delays in filling orders.

Evaluate Vendor Packaging

The way vendor package products can affect your warehouse operational costs. If you want ship alones — items reshipped to customers in original packaging — and your vendor has repacked these items in non original packages, you will incur a great expense in preparing them for shipment. Also, if your storage procedures require pallets with specific heights, make sure your vendors are in compliance. You may be spending money correcting vendor errors and inconsistencies.