Five Challenges of Warehousing That Hurt Your Productivity

Time is money, and in a warehouse setting any material handling should be optimized, so it’s streamlined and efficient. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Bad practices can hurt your facility’s overall productivity and bottom line. In this post, we’ll take a look into five common warehousing problems that can reduce warehouse productivity and how to overcome them. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Not Optimizing Picking Paths

While this mistake ties in a bit to that of a poor facility layout, which we’ll get to later, it’s not always easy to resolve. It can be complicated to optimize picking paths where there is manual labor and automated equipment, but it’s worth a try. If this isn’t something that you’re comfortable with or able to tackle yourself, consider working with a consultant. Even marginal improvements from optimized picking paths will improve your bottom line.

2. Inventory Management

Streamlining efficiency isn’t just about investing in automation, optimizing warehouse floor layout, and ensuring it’s organized. Optimizing efficiency also includes your inventory. Too much inventory and you could be losing money and shop floor space. Too little inventory and you could be waiting on materials and delaying shipments, irking your customers. The best way to fix challenges in warehouse management is to invest in an inventory management solution. Try to get as lean as possible when it comes to your inventory.

3. Lack of Safety Focus

An injured employee is never good for your operations or your bottom line. That’s why it’s important to establish clear and direct safety protocols. Regularly communicate the correct steps and processes to your workers. Before shifts begin, raise awareness by talking about any lapses in safety, and regularly discuss any incidents (and what could have been done to avoid them). By focusing on safety and continuous training, you should see your accidents decline and safety improve.

4. Poor Housekeeping

An unkempt warehouse isn’t good for both productivity and safety. Proper organization is paramount to good housekeeping, and it should become standard practice that workers tidy up at the end of their shift, so the next group can start in a clean and organized environment. Invest in the right storage racks, containers, and systems to ensure that everything has a correct place and the warehouse can be kept as neat.

5. Poor Facility Layout

Let’s bring this piece full circle. The first mistake we mentioned talked about how to optimize picking paths. In this tip, we’re going to build off of that, as one of the biggest warehouse productivity issues is a poor facility layout. Optimize your layout so that the processes run in sync with each other. One of the most important parts of the facility layout is the putaway process, which should be taken into account when organizing the facility.

Improve Your Warehouse Productivity

There are countless warehousing solutions to improve your warehouse productivity. In fact, you can find out more ways from our resource center. If you want to know how to minimize warehouse mistakes and increase warehouse productivity, connect with the experts at A-Lined Handling Systems.