Staying organized pays rich dividends. Especially an investment in best practices in warehouse management will definitely return manifold returns. Warehouses being central to any business’ success, it is necessary to stay on top of basics of warehouse management. Dazzled with the sheer size of your warehouse and wondering how to manage warehouse inventory?
Here are some warehouse management basics that will help you stay on top of your warehouse operations. We have also included some warehouse inventory management tips to further improve your warehouse operations. These warehouse management best practices will streamline inventory control and make best of your inventory management systems.
Planning For Warehouse Space
Every inch of the warehouse needs to be planned to maximize storage space. It is one of the best warehouse management best practices that can be implemented without much cost. The space has to be organized in such a way that allows for quick and smooth carrying of goods. There must be adequate space for forklifts and weight carrying machines to move around. If the bins are properly planned and marked for, it will help avoid confusion and stocking of goods at inappropriate places.
Forecast Inventory Procurement/Issue Timelines
Every business has its own seasonal demand. Warehouse management basics explained that it doesn’t make sense to hoard inventory throughout the year unless there is regular demand. Stock levels should be maintained at optimum levels, ideally 1.5 times the average use to avoid blocking of working capital. Optimum inventory holding will reduce cost of storage. Forecasting of inventory demand based on historical trends as part of warehouse management process will also help improve lowering costs.
Avoid Mixing Up SKUs
One common mistake in warehouse management process is to mix several SKUs into one bin for saving space. Although this makes sense for same type and average sized SKUs not always will it accrue the intended benefit. There is a certain amount of time penalty in tracking, spotting and loading/unloading SKUs bundled up in a single bin. However, if need may so arise, a better way to place multiple SKUs in the same bin will be by dividing the bin into convenient parts for better access.
Use Bin Locations To Quickly Locate Products
Your warehouse management best practices must include the smart use of BIN location to simplify product search within warehouse. Bin locations fields help in immediate tracking of showroom and warehouse zones. Bin locations also help in better planning of warehouse layouts. Having the fast moving stocks in near vicinity will reduce the time taken for loading and unloading. The warehouse pathways can also be better paved to ensure quick reach to the bin location.
Tech Enabled Inventory Tracking
Automation saves time, not just in an air conditioned office but also in warehouses where stocks keep fleeting in and out every single hour of the day. Barcode and RFID enabled data collection and inventory tracking are ideal choices for effective warehouse operations management. Manual interference in warehouse operations should be minimized to a bare minimum for saving time and for improving efficiency. Tech enabled inventory tracking will prove beneficial for businesses with thousands of SKUs dealt with it in multiple warehousing locations.
Strategic Assortment Of SKU Pickup Locations
Perhaps, Amazon holds credit for having found a unique yet splendid answer on how to handle warehouse inventory for global ecommerce stores. It has an efficient way of sorting and storing goods in its warehouse which does not similar goods close to each other to prevent warehouse labor from picking a slightly different variant that the customer may not have ordered for. Further, most best seller goods are located on almost every aisle of the warehouse for facilitating quick pickups and dispatch.
Cross Docking For Maximum Space Efficiency
Cross Docking is a popular supply chain management process that aims to reduce shelf storage time of stocks. It facilitates quick transportation of warehouse delivered goods to outbound carriers that will take stocks to distribution centres or retail centres. The warehouse layout must be set in a way that favors cross docking.
Establishing Safety Standards
Warehouses are infamous for their injury rates. Most of the accidents in warehouses occur due to lack of employee training and awareness. Heavy duty equipment like forklift, etc. must be allowed to used by employees with prior training and experience. Further, the warehouse must also be marked with safety protocols including use of safe distance from danger zones, self protective gear, etc.
Employee Training and Induction
Warehouse management systems fail to reach their full potential because the users, mainly the laborers who use the system are unaware of the features present for inventory control and better management of the warehouse. Periodical training and induction programs will go a long way in reducing the drag that could be hampering warehouse management efficiency.
These warehouse management tips can give tremendous breakthrough for any kind of warehouse. From public to private or even climate controlled warehouses can improve their efficiency by implementing these warehouse management tips.