Warehouses are an essential part of the supply chain system, and their efficient management is vital in ensuring your business remains profitable. A slight hitch in warehouse management can cost your business the trust of your customers and, just as significant, revenue.
In a survey of 600 customers, 29 percent of the respondents said they would abandon their online shopping if the wrong item is delivered to them even once. Meanwhile, 62 percent of the respondents said they were unlikely to buy from an online retailer if their delivery was late within two days of the delivery date.
You can prevent this loss of customer and revenue by identifying the most prevalent problems in warehouses and implementing solutions to streamline your warehouse management.
Common Warehouse Problems
Warehouses all over the world spent around $385 billion in operational costs. This number doesn’t include the costs incurred by such mistakes as incorrectly stored products, late deliveries, and physical accidents. You can generally sort these mistakes into two categories: operational errors and structural mistakes.
- Operational mistakes pertain to problems caused by mismanagement or improper use of warehouse systems. For example, not using cutting-edge labelling software to sort and track your products is an operational mistake. Similarly, not having a reliable method for storing your items around the warehouse is another operational mistake. These problems can be rectified by implementing new rules and protocols.
- Structural mistakes refer to issues caused by physical obstacles and poor positioning of objects and shelving in your warehouse. An example of a structural error could be making aisles too narrow for more than one person to manoeuvre in. It could also manifest as implementing an inefficient floor plan that confuses your employees. You can solve structural mistakes by rearranging warehouse assets to be more efficient.
Warehouse Streamlining Solutions
Your warehouse business can soar to new heights and improve your client’s operations if you employ the following streamlining solutions to your processes.
Talk to your employees.
Your warehouse employees know more about the problems in your warehouse than any expert because they experience them first-hand. Schedule routine meetings with your dock workers, product handlers, and forklift operators to discover what issues they routinely encounter. These problems could be related to warehouse operations or even their own work experience. Maybe the forklift operators have noticed a crack in the loading dock that could become a serious issue in the future, or your package handlers can insist on wider aisles. Solving these issues will help make your warehouse friendlier to your employees and improve operational times.
Get reliable containment solutions.
Improperly storing your products can cost your business. Without reliable containment and storage solutions, inventory can get too damaged to sell or even cause accidents if their contents are hazardous to people. Look for suppliers of sturdy and dependable storage products like Containit Solutions. These companies can provide durable storage for dangerous products and boxes that work well with cranes and forklifts. Without reliable containment systems, your employees can have problems preserving the integrity of your products, and it can even cause confusion, which in turn can lead to customer loss.
Employ reliable labelling and tracking
Warehouses are vast and can store thousands upon thousands of products. It’s easy for your employees to lose track of where everything is and to collect them in a timely fashion. These delays can be unforgivable and lead to cancelled orders and lost revenue. You can use a variety of methods to make labelling and tracking easier for everyone in your operations.
Manually entering products into a database is one of the least efficient methods for doing this, which is why you should make the transition to using barcode systems and installing radio frequency identification devices to enhance your labelling and tracking efforts. These systems can relay information on products with a single swipe or scan.
Store products strategically
Your floor plan is probably the first thing you should focus on if you want to streamline your operations. The exact placement of shelves and products is essential in running things smoothly through your warehouse. For example, always put high-traffic products like your bestsellers on the shelves nearest your processing area. You can also employ a storage plan that limits the distance workers have to travel between shelves and processing areas, like putting a processing area at the head of every aisle and sorting specific items to those aisles. The organisation is critical when streamlining your warehouse.
Warehouses are complex operations, and you should take any chance you get to simplify it. That will help you retain the trust of your customers and keep revenue flowing in these troubled times.