Nothing is less productive in a workplace than an unorganised warehouse. Workers shuffle about trying to avoid stacks of boxes while sorting through more of the inventory just to find the correct item. The disarray takes away precious time and creates an unprofitable environment. Instead of trying to keep up with a messy and unproductive system, creating a more efficient one using pallet racking and other organising tips is the best way to upgrade a warehouse this 2018.
Follow these different tips and transform a cluttered warehouse into a neat and efficient one:
Tip #1: Increase Pallet Size for a Cleaner, but Effectively Bigger Storage Space
Pallet racks are a big investment, but they are worth every cent when it comes to keeping a warehouse organised and running smoothly. Used pallet racking is also available for businesses that want to save money without compromising their efficiency. The pallet system helps warehouses save space because by simply adding more shelves to any given location, the floor space is maximised and so is the rest of the area.
This stacking system is also a smart way to utilise the entire warehouse. Most warehouses have high ceilings and the racking can extend to a certain height to keep all of the inventory systemised and easy to find. Aside from adding extra pallets to the warehouse, other ways to increase storage efficiency are:
Standardise containers to make storing and locating inventory easier.
Avoid inventory misplacement by assigning specific locations to all pallets.
Clearly label all shelves to make scanning for products effortless.
Tip #2: Consider Cross-Docking
A lot of time and effort is wasted during the handling process. Many items get stuck in the middle of handling limbo in between the suppliers and the customers they have to reach. One possible solution that will significantly cut down the handling time is cross-docking. This handling system reduces the amount of time wasted because the process is designed to have a more efficient flow.
For example, once the inventory arrives from the supplier, it is received at the docking terminal, which is directly connected to an in-between screening area. The items are forthrightly processed, checked, sorted and deployed to the next dock for transportation and distribution. There is no need to unpack, shelf the items on pallets and carts, process them for inventory, and repack them for shipping and distribution when cross-docking is employed.
Tip #3: Bigger and Better Carts
“Picking” is an integral part of the warehouse system. If the products are picked off the pallets manually, this can take a lot of time and decrease productivity. Investing in bigger wheeled carts will allow manual pickers to place more inside the cart in one walkthrough rather than keep going back and forth. Adding a cart with extra shelves will make a big difference in the warehouse’s productivity and efficiency. Plus, it will require less work for pickers so they can focus on their task better to minimise human error.
Tip #4: Ways to Analyse (and Arrange) Inventory
There are different ways to arrange inventory on pallet racks, some are proven to be better than others. The best way to find out how to arrange items correctly is to do an inventory analysis. This way warehouse capacity and distribution of inventory can be fully maximised. Here are great inventory analysis techniques to use for your warehouse:
The ABC Analysis – The inventory in this specific analysis type categorises different products based on the value of their annual consumption. By doing this, the warehouse can allocate a small amount of the inventory to items that have the largest consumption value and a larger portion of the inventory to items that yield a smaller value. For instance:
Class A accounting for 20% of the inventory and 70% of the total annual consumption value.
Class B accounting for 30% of the inventory and 35% of the total annual consumption value.
Class C accounting for 50% of the inventory and only 5% of the annual consumption value.
VED Analysis – This is an analysis that classifies items in inventory in order of importance. There are three categories: Vital, Essential, and Desirable, hence VED.
FNS Analysis – An analysis type that classifies inventory items based on the following factors: quantity, consumption rate, and frequency of issues and uses. After looking into these factors a warehouse will be able to see which items are moving fast, slow, and those that are non-moving at all.
Tip #5: Upgrading Warehouse Performance
It is important for any warehouse to upgrade their inventory tracking system, picking system, and even storage system after the inventory analysis. The best way to cope with the demand and to up the productivity of a storage and distribution centre is to make adjustments accordingly. Sticking to how things were managed in the past is not a sign of progress.
Here are some steps to take that will help improve the overall system of any warehouse:
Walkthrough the warehouse – Simple but a highly effective way of seeing how the entire facility works is to do a walkthrough of the area. Check out the pallet racks, how the inventory is arranged, and how long processing time takes. This will give warehouse managers and operators a better idea on how well the system works or doesn’t work.
Staff feedback – Employee feedback is an important part of performance upgrading. They are the people working on site and experiencing the way the warehouse functions on a daily basis. Their input, comments, and suggestions are important, valid, and have a lot of value. By showing that managers are listening to their employees, daily work ethics and effort also improves.
All Warehouses Have Room for Improvement
The secret to managing a well-organised and profitable warehouse is to continue to improve current systems. Adapting to change is necessary for any type of industry to succeed. Adding something as simple as pallet racks and bigger carts helps to increase and enhance efficiency in the best possible way.
Do not stay stuck in old ways, get creative and make changes around the warehouse to increase capacity and profit. There is no better time to upgrade and revamp the standing warehouse organising methods than today!
5 Tips for Better Warehouse Management in 2018, blog.cemat.com.au