If you work in a warehouse environment, regardless of your specific role, there are plenty of areas you have probably noticed that lack efficiency. Even a relatively new or revamped warehouse system can have a few snags to address. The following is a short list of tips that can help to improve efficiency in the warehouse in ways that are often missed when looking for possible enhancements.
Improve the Use of Space
Just because a warehouse is large doesn’t mean that its space isn’t valuable. The size and quantity of stock, materials, or other items being stored in the warehouse will have a direct impact on the efficiency of anyone working there. Simply maintaining an up-to-date stock list isn’t enough to ensure that the space is being used in an optimal way. Take note of items that make sense being kept together or apart so that they can be accessed with as little wasted time as possible.
Make Security a Priority
Theft or damage to stock or materials may happen only very rarely, but on these occasions it can be devastating to the overall stability of the business. This is why security plays such an important role when it comes to sustaining high levels of efficiency. Having the technology and staff to keep an eye on valuable assets contained in the warehouse will save time and money in the long run, so skimping in these areas is not worth the short-term savings.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
You may find that the warehouse is fully functional and reliable most of the time, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Take a look at the equipment used to move, store, and access warehouse stock. These processes are much simpler when you use equipment specially designed for the job. For example, you should find out which type of pallet jacks you need to perform a specific task as efficiently and safely as possible. Trying to achieve the same results with inferior equipment can lead to decreased efficiency or even risks to health and safety. Invest in the equipment that makes sense for the task at hand rather than improvising with what you might already have in the warehouse.
Smooth Out Transitions
Transitions between collecting, transporting, arranging, storing, accessing and managing an entire warehouse full of stock or materials involves its fair share of transitional tasks. These are often the areas where efficiency is impacted since the friction between two adjacent activities can give rise to wasted time. Identify areas of the warehouse where transitions cause the most hold-ups then work backwards to find a suitable solution.
Safety Can’t be Sidelined
Although left until last on this brief list, safety should be the top priority of any warehouse. Without well-trained staff who can work confidently and safely, a warehouse can very easily become at best an inefficient workplace and at worst a dangerous threat to human life. When making decisions based on increasing efficiency, always put the safety of your workforce above everything else.