These days there’s little room for error when it comes to warehouse management. It’s vitally important to ensure that warehouse processes run as efficiently as possible. With customers’ expectations higher than ever one mistake or delay can negatively impact your company’s reputation and bottom line.
Practical warehouse optimisation techniques to implement today
Warehouse operations can break down due to inventory mismanagement or back-end warehouse logistics. A well thought out warehouse optimisation plan can help you mitigate these kinds of potential problems, and help you make the best use of your time, space and resources. In this post we’ll discuss 6 important warehouse optimisation techniques you can put into place right away.
The 6 key warehouse processes:
This process involves verifying incoming shipments and updating inventory records. Ways to optimise this process include:
- Implementing barcode or RFID scanning technology for faster and more accurate data entry.
- Cross-training staff to handle receiving tasks to ensure flexibility and reduce bottlenecks.
- Using advanced shipment notifications (ASNs) to prepare for incoming shipments.
- Using power pallet trucks and conveyors.
Once items have been received they need to be allocated to their designated storage locations within the warehouse. Ways to optimise this process include:
- Creating warehouse layout optimisation to ensure, for example, that faster moving goods are kept closer to the shipping area to optimise put-away and improve picking efficiency.
- Using bin location systems to efficiently locate and store items.
- Utilising automated systems like conveyor belts or autonomous robots for rapid put-away.
- Using space management systems with flexible slots. PALLITE® PIX® warehouse storage bins can help you optimise the put-away process. They’re compatible with pallets, conveyor belts, and robotic handling equipment, and offer you a way to organise your storage effectively.
With designated slots for specific items warehouse staff can quickly identify the right location for each item. Since items can be placed directly in their designated slots during the put-away process this eliminates the need for transfers or extra handling.
Storage plays a crucial role in warehouse optimisation as it impacts on the overall performance and productivity of the entire warehouse. Some storage warehouse optimisation techniques include:
- Implementing effective warehouse layout optimisation: By organising items appropriately and utilising vertical space you can store more products without having to expand your warehouse premises. This reduces the cost per unit stored and maximises return on investment for utilised space.
- PALLITE® PIX® high density warehouse storage solutions offer you a way to store more products in a smaller space. PIX® storage bins can be built and dismantled to adapt to changing levels of demand, and flat-packed when not required. PALLITE® PIX® storage systems feature easy-to-fit slots or dividers that can be used to accommodate different item sizes so smaller items can be stored in smaller spaces.
Picking involves selecting items from their storage locations to fulfil customer orders. Order picking is a labour-intensive and costly activity for many companies. Ways to optimise this process include:
- Implementing pick-to-light or pick-to-voice systems to reduce picking errors and increase productivity. PALLITE® PIX® warehouse storage systems integrate with modern automated picking systems combining a flexible sustainable hardware solution with the latest software.
- Using technologies like mobile and wearables, for example, staff could wear a wrist-scanner with a heads-up display to maximise picking efficiencies.
- Using ABC analysis to identify the most effective picking methodology so that picking routes are organised so as to minimise the travel time and distances travelled.
- Adopting PALLITE® PIX® storage bins. These give you plenty of space for labels to help staff find products more easily.
- Implementing PIX® vertical warehouse storage systems. These allow for multiple items to be organised for ease of picking, with efficient configuration of pick-faces. Using slots can also help to reduce congestion in warehouses and improve retrieval times.
- PIX® SLOTS Angled are high-density storage units enable you to put smaller SKUs in rear, angled pick compartments, to reduce any risk of them falling out. With no lips or built up edges in the way pickers can access products easily, improving pick efficiency.
This process involves carefully and securely packaging items for shipment and it can be optimised by:
- Using automated packing software systems to guide packing tasks and create faster and more consistent packing.
- Training staff in proper packing techniques to avoid damages during transit.
The final step in the warehousing process is shipping which involves preparing the packed orders for shipment, creating shipping labels and coordinating with carriers. Warehouse optimisation techniques include:
- Integrating your warehouse management system with shipping carriers to streamline label generation and tracking.
- Opting for real-time shipment tracking to enhance visibility.
- Negotiating favourable shipping rates with carriers to reduce costs.
The future of warehouse processes
The growth of the warehouse industry will be synonymous with the growth of e-commerce and the trend of outsourcing warehouse services. To keep up with demand, warehouse processes will need to be more fully automated, with the use of warehouse management systems (WMS) to give managers more visibility and control over their operations.
Increased use of data analytics will also help to detect areas for improvement, and help companies make data-driven decisions. Consistently monitoring KPIs is another factor which will help to assess warehouse performance.
PALLITE® PIX® warehouse storage solutions can significantly support all your warehouse optimisation techniques. Our honeycomb cardboard products are not only sustainable (enabling you to play your part in a greener economy), but offer you a way to quickly create high-density storage. Our bins and slots can help you create an organised inventory system that also integrates with the latest automated warehouse management software.
For further help and advice on optimising your warehouse processes please contact us today. We can help you assess the effectiveness of your current warehouse layout and suggest ways to improve your warehouse processes using PIX® products. There’s always the option of letting us create a fully customisable solution just for you too, to suit your exact warehouse space and operational objectives.