If your business maintains a warehouse of items, you understand that its efficiency can have a direct effect on the profitability of your business. Incorrectly delivered items, lost items and misplaced items can hold up your ability to serve your customers promptly and correctly. Smart business owners ensure that their warehouse operations are functioning at peak efficiency to ensure high profitability for their companies. Here are four ways to help organize your warehouse to benefit your bottom line.
Know Your Inventory
The first step in implementing good warehouse organization is to know exactly where your inventory stands. A thorough inventory count must be done to provide the correct numbers to enter into your inventory management software. Discard damaged items or those no longer in use. Once this is done, periodic counts may be necessary to correct errors in count or re-stocking that often occur.
Make Frequently Used Items Easy to Access
Take a close look at how your warehouse team operates on a daily basis. The workflow in warehouse areas should allow easy movement between sections. Your most frequently used items should be easiest to access. Of course, your warehouse operation may experience seasonal changes or other fluctuations that will require frequent changes in your operational flow plan. Anticipating when these changes can help your warehouse operation be more profitable.
Utilize Equipment That Maximizes Efficiency
The warehousing industry widely recognizes that the use of pallet racks as an essential feature of efficient warehouse organization. These systems allow ease of use when making changes to warehouse operations and allow better management of inventory. A variety of pallet racking systems are available that can be adapted for the use of your particular needs.
Radiofrequency Identification Systems
Radiofrequency identification makes it easier to keep and accurate count of incoming, outgoing and incorrectly stored items in your warehouse, to reduce efficiencies and maximize your workforce. Radiofrequency identification, often referred to as RFID, involves the use of tags that contain tiny circuits and antenna.
These tags can then be “read” by electronic reading devices, which then transmit the data to an inventory software program. “Smart tags” may also be used, that employ both radiofrequency and barcode technologies. The initial investment in these methods is quickly paid for in increased accuracy and lower inventory costs.
A well-organized warehouse system requires careful analysis and thought to develop the most efficient system for today’s business needs. Technology offers a number of new options, but physical methods of organization are just as important. If you look carefully at the error rate of your current warehouse system, you will probably find a number of areas where improvements should occur. These four areas are a good place to start your update of warehouse operations.