Warehouse Management: Simple Strategies for a Smoother Operation


Warehouse managers are faced with a number of operational challenges that make managing operations anything but simple and direct. Not only are warehouse managers responsible for ensuring that the warehouse is functioning efficiently, but they are also responsible for ensuring that the employees are operating in a safe environment while being productive. To provide best logistical services , One area in which efficiency can be improved is by improving the layout of the building, which can reduce travel times between different stations and provide a more ergonomic environment for the workers.

With warehouse managers having so many different variables that they are responsible for managing, it is necessary for them to integrate some sort of method to the madness. Following are several tips that will help warehouse managers get the most out of their warehouse and their workers.

Use Automated Data Collection

Anytime an individual is working with a pen and tablet, recording item numbers in the inventory, it is highly likely that there will be a number of errors that will ultimately cost the business over the long run. Automated data collection is not only more accurate than using a pen and pad, it is much faster — making it a more efficient data collection mechanism. The benefits of using a data collection system that functions via radio frequency identification, or barcode scanning are well documented, including accuracy and enhanced productivity. However, there are still many companies managing their inventory manually.

Improve the Receiving Process

How items are received, cataloged and stored when they initially arrive into the warehouse has an immense impact on how effectively they will be managed over the course of their time in the warehouse. The receiving process should be highly efficient in the manner of inspection of the product, which will immediately identify any damaged items that should be returned or have a credit issued against them. Additionally, the manner in which they are stored is essential to creating a more productive operational system. If the items are stored in a permanent position initially, it will reduce the number of times they will have to be moved over the course of their life in the warehouse, increasing efficiency and productivity. It is way better to consider automated storage and retrieval systems that improve productivity and accuracy, reducing storage space requirements, and enhancing worker safety and job satisfaction.

Improving Layout with Floor Marking Tape

Using floor marking tape to illuminate and identify different areas will not only improve functionality and productivity, but it can also be used to clearly define areas that present an elevated safety hazard. Because cost-efficiency is an important element associated with improving operations, the use of quality tape that does not have to be constantly replaced is important. To get an idea of which floor marking tape brands are best, warehouse managers can visit the RealSafety.org tape page to view the top floor marking tape brands.

Promote Information Visibility Throughout the Warehouse

A list of best practices point to the fact that a warehouse that is extensively proliferated with highly visible information increases the ability to share pertinent information that can lead to a more efficient and safe work process. Many manufacturing and warehouse experts suggest that visibility of critical information is a highly prevalent component in reducing order pulling and shipping times.

Implement a Quality Control Mechanism

Quality control is immensely important to customer satisfaction, which has to be a major concern of any business in such a highly competitive economy. All items should be verified and inspected before final packaging to be shipped to the customer. First, it is imperative to ensure that the right product and the right quantity have been pulled. Next, it is necessary to inspect the product to ensure that there are no damages to the product. This quality control mechanism should be carried out at least twice, by the order puller and the packer. Whenever an error in pulling is identified, the item should be immediately returned to its area and restocked.

Properly Training the Staff

The fact that operational processes will change over time, it will be necessary to offer continued training courses that ensure that the warehouse staff is prepared to effectively engage all work processes. A well-established training program will not only ensure a higher level of productivity, but it will also increase the level of safety in the warehouse, which should always be a priority.

For those instances when physical count is necessary, all like inventory should be kept together, to reduce the chance of confusing products. Additionally, the warehouse manager should constantly monitor the workflow processes to look for ways that the process can be improved.

Jennifer Townsend has worked her way up the ladder at work, starting out as a picker and packer she has recently been promoted to warehouse manager and is loving the challenge. She shares her knowledge of warehouse management on selected business blogs.