Maintaining a well-organized warehouse can be crucial not only to increasing profitability and productivity, but also boosting morale among workers by making their daily lives simpler. As warehouse workers and operators know, however, organizing a facility is no easy task, especially since each warehouse requires a unique approach to organization.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to organize your warehouse that could improve your bottom line without costing you too much time, money, and stress.
Whether due to seasonal shifts in demand or industry-wide trends, every warehouse carries a portion of goods that make up the bulk of their sales and, thus, the majority of their gross profits. Organizing your stock around these big-ticket items is crucial for an effective warehouse layout and fortunately simple to accomplish in most cases.
You can categorize warehouse inventory in numerous ways, but one of the most straightforward is the “ABC” system, which involves keeping certain “stock keeping units” (SKUs) in different groups. By organizing your warehouse layout so that Category A SKUs, for example, are the most easily accessible because they have the highest percentage of sales in comparable months, you can speed up your picking process and ensure your workers know where everything is all at once.
Rush orders can actually be rushed effectively, common orders will get lost less often, and your workforce can save time, all while increasing your profit margins.
Maximizing efficiency when receiving shipments can be as important as streamlining picking and packing, especially if you have high inventory turnover. In fact, a lot of organizational problems within warehouses begin with receiving, where incoming goods might not get labeled correctly, may be stored wherever space is available rather than where it makes the most sense for pickers, etc. Not to mention, traffic jams in aisles caused by haphazardly placed items can delay every other process on the warehouse floor.
Rather than trying to fit your receiving stations into your organizational plan, it can be a huge help to instead build your organizational plan around your receiving stations, placing shelving units and packing stations to ensure the straightest path possible from receiving to picking to shipping out to your customers. A little bit of reorganizing at and around receiving stations can help resolve issues that would otherwise occur down the supply chain.
Even if your warehouse organizational strategy works like a dream after it’s fully implemented, it can quickly become a nightmare when a critical piece of machinery breaks down or a computer system fails. For this reason, your organizational strategy should include regular inspections and maintenance of crucial systems, as well as comprehensive training for workers about how those systems work and what to do if something goes wrong.
There’s plenty you could do to improve your warehouse’s organization, but the most cost-effective, long-term strategy is often working with a qualified third-party logistics provider that has the experience and resources to take on that burden for you.
While you focus on providing the best experience to your customers, your 3PL provider could implement custom-tailored organizational strategies to strengthen your business and set you apart from your competition. Get in touch with Brown West Logistics today to learn more about simple way to organize your warehouse.