The thought of changing your warehouse inventory system might seem daunting at first, and you may be unsure of where to start. However, even small changes that increase productivity or reduce waste can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line.
There are many options available for updating your warehouse inventory system. Some strategies impose relatively minor changes, while others might require a substantial change to your system. Read on to learn more about how to improve your warehouse inventory management.
Rethinking your warehouse’s design is an important place to start in improving how your inventory is managed. Every square foot of warehouse space bears the cost of rent, electricity, and other expenses. For that reason, maximizing the use of that space should be a top priority for all warehouse managers.
Congested floor layouts reduce efficiency and make shipping and receiving more difficult than they need to be. Reevaluating a warehouse floor design starts with strategizing how to give your workers the room they need to complete their tasks. In some cases, a complete revamp of the warehouse space could be in order.
One of the best ways to improve the management of warehouse inventory is by transitioning to a lean operation that is focused on return on investment. Solutions like wave picking and cross-docking could allow a warehouse to seamlessly limit the number of labor hours and storage time needed to fulfill shipments.
Cross-docking involves unloading incoming items directly from a railroad car or truck into an outbound vehicle. This results in little to no storage time. Wave picking, on the other hand, uses inventory zones to facilitate fulfillment and maximize efficiency. Both of these options can be useful under the right circumstances.
Technology can play a vital role in improving a warehouse’s inventory management. For instance, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) can help improve inventory tracking by optimizing organizational systems and developing strategic workflows. Relying on this software could reduce the risks associated with swings in demand and improve operation systems throughout the warehouse.
Another way that technology can help optimize warehouse inventory systems is through automation. Automation could improve a wide range of management systems, including data collection, barcode scanning, inventory tracking, and more. Automation is especially useful when it comes to picking, packing, and shipping merchandise.
With automation, it may be possible to reduce warehouse costs substantially. From reduced labor costs to fewer human errors, automated systems often pay for themselves. Automation is also scalable, making it easier to grow a warehousing operation with these systems already in place.
It goes without saying that improving warehouse inventory management can improve operations as a whole. We hope that these tips give you some helpful insight into how you can improve upon your warehouse’s inventory system and reap the benefits associated with a streamlined picking and packing strategy.