Warehouse management is complicated. Often, multiple processes are happening at the same time, from stocking to order processing, picking, and shipping. Additionally, you have to address how workers rearrange stock and reach products to fill orders efficiently.
With this in mind, there are many storage mistakes that warehouses often make. Let’s take a closer look at these problems, as well as how to fix them.
1. Inefficient Picking Paths
In many cases, workers must pick multiple popular products that are often purchased together. However, if they have to travel from the front of the warehouse to the back to fulfill the order, your picking rates will plummet. This issue increases your labor costs and hampers your warehouse productivity levels.
Solution: Consider optimizing picking paths by placing popular items at the front of the warehouse near packaging and labeling areas. You can also group products that are often ordered together in the same picking zone.
2. Poor Warehouse Layout
There are a variety of storage choices that could reduce the efficiency of your warehouse’s layout. For example, there may be pallets stacked on the floor that prevent material-handling equipment from reaching products. Or, the shipping and goods receiving areas may be too close to each other, causing workers to become confused.
Solution: There are several simple ways to ensure your warehouse’s layout allows for maximum efficiency. First, you can evaluate your current floorplan and measure your operations to determine how much space you need for each area. You should also keep aisles clear and invest in the right racking systems so workers can reach items quickly and operate equipment easily. If you need guidance, A-Lined Handling Systems offers consulting services that can help you organize your products and improve warehouse safety management. We’ll also provide you with recommendations for several different material-handling systems that fit your needs.
3. Failure to Invest in Warehouse Technology
Paper documents are cumbersome for sales representatives, accounting departments, warehouse managers, and picking workers alike. Physical records may become lost as they travel across departments, increasing your chances of making order mistakes.
Solution: Invest in warehouse technology that helps reduce the paper process. With efficient software and applications, you can track the progress of orders and picking rates to increase warehouse productivity while decreasing costs. However, you should keep the learning curve in mind, and allow workers time to fully learn the technology so they can leverage it in the best way possible.
4. Losing Track of Goods-In Process
Goods-in process, also known as works in progress (WIP), are partially completed products that aren’t ready to be sold or distributed. These unfinished items are often set aside while workers focus on fulfilling customer orders. When this happens, product parts can begin to accumulate against warehouse walls or become mixed in with finished inventory on shelves.
Solution: To mitigate this issue, assign specific staff members to handle all goods-in process. You should also reserve a specific location for these items and encourage workers to maintain this zone, so it doesn’t overflow into inventory areas.
5. Allowing Warehouse Inventory Management to Lag
During busy sales seasons, it becomes all too easy to lose track of your inventory levels and placement of goods. This problem often leads to holding excess inventory that may become obsolete, or misplacing products between different warehouse locations.
Solution: Get your warehouse inventory management back on track by minimizing stock on hand. You can also use warehouse management software to track inventory levels and keep tabs on which products are housed in each warehouse location. Additionally, as products become obsolete, you should ensure that they’re disposed of safely.
High-Quality Consulting Services from A-Lined Handling Systems
Looking to improve your warehouse processes to avoid costly mistakes that lower your productivity rates? Here at A-Lined Handling Systems, we offer consulting services and custom material flow solutions to move materials through your warehouse efficiently.