Tips on improving your 3PL warehouse productivity

5/11/2014

With the continuous rise of fuel and other operating costs, more and more businesses are finding ways on how they can reduce their warehouse expenses. They are also eager to learn tips on how they can increase their warehouse productivity. Are you one of these business owners?

Aaron Poole is happy to share some of his expertise on this matter. Read on to discover how BR International ensures maximum warehouse productivity inside its premises.

Learn how you can reduce your operational cost to as much as 30%.

Effective tips on how you can improve
warehouse productivity

A productive warehouse is profitable warehouse. No doubt about it. So, if you still haven’t figured out how you can make your warehouse work towards your advantage; it’s high time you do, today. Follow these tips to start maximising your returns.

How long has your equipment been running?

Equipment depreciates over time and systems become outdated. Thus, the need to replace these with more efficient systems and equipment. How will you know if it’s time to buy
a new one?

Should you replace your forklift?

Here is a recommendation you may follow when assessing if it’s time to buy a new forklift for your warehouse operations:

  • Type of forklift and the age of its design
  • Severity of the application
  • Number of hours it operates per month and per year
  • Type and frequency of maintenance it receives
  • Cost per hour

When is the ideal time to replace your forklift?

Do you have an updated Warehouse Management System (WMS)?

Rather than using traditional spreadsheets, start using a WMS. The most efficient warehouses use this to run their warehouses. They even have radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging support system to ensure accurate and more
efficient inventory of items.

But isn’t buying newer equipment expensive?

Buying newer equipment is considered as an expensive way of improving warehouse efficiency. However, deeper analysis shows that installing new equipment results to faster production and lesser break down.

It shows your employees how much you are invested in the business and how much you want to make their jobs easier and more efficient. This increases staff morale resulting in improved productivity in the workplace.

Recommendation

Purchase and install newer equipment, such as doors, lifts and computer systems as needed. Do this by performing regular equipment maintenance. If in doubt, call us so we can properly assess your warehouse operation.

Do you have an efficient warehouse layout?

Sample layout design of an efficient warehouse

How will you know if your warehouse layout is efficient? Simple, can you easily and expeditiously locate and retrieve your inventory?

If the answer is ‘yes’, then you don’t need to change anything. Otherwise, you need to sit and revise your warehouse layout.

Recommendations

Super-size your receiving area
Ensure you have enough room for your staff to break down pallets and receipt in goods.

Practice segmentation
Ensure specific functions have allocated locations inside the warehouse.

Set up bin locations and pick path
Develop a pick path for your pickers to follow. Start from the farthest point away from the shipping area and end with the picker in front of the shipping prep section.

Design a system of aisles and cross aisles
Make it easier for your staff to move around the warehouse without bumping into one another by designing a system of aisles and cross aisles.

Apply locator system codes
Develop a locator system code and make sure all your staff are familiar with it.

Do you have enough warehouse space to
store your items?

Do you have an overcrowded warehouse?

There is no use redesigning your warehouse lay-out if it has reached its maximum. Accurately calculate your storage needs and decide if you need to:

  • Expand your existing warehouse area, if and only if, there is still space available
  • Construct or buy a new warehouse in a suitable location
  • Outsource your warehouse requirements

Recommendation

If you are dealing with seasonal items, it is best to outsource your warehousing needs. It will eliminate your need to invest in new:

  • Warehouse space
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • Staff

It also saves you from having to manage an underutilised warehouse when the need to store seasonal items has passed.

Do you have a visible management inside the warehouse?

Ensure management’s presence is felt by the workers inside the warehouse. Let everyone know you are aware of their jobs. Make every effort of your staff count by acknowledging hard working employees.

Oh no! My warehouse is a mess.
I am looking for help.

Is your warehouse a mess? Do you need help? Talk to us at 1300 348 828

Maintaining your own warehouse is a complex task. Unless you have the right staff and sufficient training, it is very much possible for you to lose more rather than earn more running it on your own. Talk to us if your warehouse delivers:

  • Inaccurate, lost and damaged inventory and equipment
  • Blocked aisles, low productivity and work injuries
  • Inability to ship on time
  • Shipping errors

If you are not measuring these key performance indicators (KPIs) then you need to start as soon as possible.

We’ll give you cost effective solutions on how to properly manage your inventories. Call us at 1300 348 828.

Sources:

http://www.foodmanufacturing.com/articles/2014/09/10-proactive-ways-eliminate-distractions-warehouse

http://multichannelmerchant.com/opsandfulfillment_warehouse/9-tips-for-improving-warehouse-productivity-07032012/

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/increase-productivity-warehouse-22660.html

http://aaupwiki.princeton.edu/index.php/Warehouse_Operations

http://www.inventoryops.com/articles/fix_warehouse.htm

http://www.aalhysterforklifts.com.au/index.php/about/blog-post/the_optimal_time_to_replace_your_forklift

http://www.infor.com/content/analyst/aberdeenwhprodbench.pdf/

 

This entry was posted in Public News on  by Aaron Poole.

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