Without organization a warehouse environment can be chaotic and costly. Employees will spend their hours searching for items instead of picking and packing efficiently to get packages out to customers on time. Organization is key to begin improving the processes in your warehouse. Here are some ways you can enhance your warehouse setup to increase your bottom line.
Create a Floor Plan
If you’re just setting up your warehouse or your warehouse is disorganized, the first step may need to be a floor plan. Map out the workflows for your product lines to determine where to place storage, receiving and packaging areas. If you want more flexibility for the initial layout, map out areas where carts with heavy duty wheels will be used. Carts can help you determine where to place permanent shelving once you see how efficient the workflow is.
Every item, workspace, aisle, rack and safety hazard in your warehouse needs a label. When your employees know exactly where everything belongs, they can quickly pick and place items in their proper spaces. Highly visible safety signs will decrease the number of employee injuries.
One of the hardest things to maintain in a warehouse is inventory. Knowing where to place each type of inventory is important to help with the efficiency and workflow of each product line. Determine which items in your warehouse are fast moving and place them in easy to reach areas. Once your product is placed based on how quickly it moves, you’ll need bins, totes and dividers to improve the picking speed. After that you can implement slotting systems to place items in areas to boost maximum productivity.
Clean and Maintain
Once your warehouse is organized, regular cleaning schedules need to be implemented. Cleaning checklists for employees to complete at the end of each shift help keep each area free from debris and ready for the next person to work. Regular maintenance for all equipment in the facility is important to prevent costly break downs, employee injuries or damaged inventory.
Review Your Layout
Yearly reviews of your warehouse layout will help you determine any areas that need to be updated or rearranged. Remove outdated equipment, rearrange inventory that isn’t moving as fast and readjust workflows with low efficiency.
Having a team focus on the process improvement in a warehouse, through implementing strategies, revising layouts and reviewing workflows, can help you maintain high productivity and retain happy customers.