Warehouses are getting busier. People have more disposable income and online shopping has spiked, from clothes to groceries. And where there’s online shopping, there are deliveries to make. The company warehouse is the hub, cranking out hundreds of orders thanks to their efficient systems. There’s always room for improvement though, so we have a few pointers to help get the ball rolling.
What can you automate?
BPA (business process automation) is nothing new but it’s taken for granted. Most companies and small businesses use the likes of Xero and MYOB for payment/invoicing. Warehouse automation is taking over the pen-and-paper system, with big players like Amazon using it in their fulfillment centres.
Warehouse automation is accurate, time-saving and easily accessible. Consider it for the following:
- Time management/shifts
- Barcode scanning
- Order picking
- GPS order tracking
If your warehouse is a dispatch/fulfillment centre the above processes will increase efficiency and customer satisfaction. You won’t be spending money on safety stock either thanks to accurate tracking. You’ll know how much of a product is in stock at any one time at the click of a button.
Is expansion necessary?
If you’ve had to re-organize the shelving arrangements once and run out of room again then it’s seriously time to consider moving or expanding. Warehouses are huge, yes, but there’s only a finite amount of space.
First, you need to decide if you want to expand, renovate, or buy a new space. If you prefer the first two, organize a meeting with a few commercial builders and get some quotes. Look over their portfolios with a fine tooth comb.
Promote from within
The people working in your business already know it so well, from the forklift drivers to the admin staff. You might keep some of the Christmas casuals around after the season is over and promote them to part-time work. The same method applies here. A truck driver with enough experience can be promoted to fleet manager. One of the admin staff can be offered a senior position within the office.
When you promote from within, you’re saving time on recruitment and training. The existing staff will feel happier too. When organizations look inward to fill roles the employees feel valued.
Lease new machines
Gas, petrol, and diesel machines are good investments, but consider leasing electric forklifts and pallet jacks. If your lease is nearly expired, it’s worth talking to your supplier about getting these models in. They’re environmentally friendly and easier to maintain as they have fewer moving parts. With less noise pollution and petrol fumes, the forklift drivers will appreciate them too.
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