So your warehouse is operating smoothly, and you’re saving money for your company by being so efficient. Chances are, however, you’ve got a lot of growing to do.
A study by Intermec has shown that the average warehouse in the UK loses 3,000 hours annually due to unproductive work. There are bound to be some lost hours, but that’s excessive. It’s time to carefully evaluate your warehouse and determine what makes sense for your warehouse moving forward.
We’ve analyzed some of the most prominent holes in warehouse management to find solutions to save money. If you’re into saving money for your warehouse, these are the top solutions to invest in:
It’s the 21st century. Our warehouses are white-walled, super clean, futuristic space rooms that prevent contamination and spoilage. Well, maybe not. We’re getting there, however.
One of our favorite examples of an innovative inventory management system is Amazon. Their “chaotic storage” inventory management works well. Very, very well. If your warehouse has a set tolerance for lost or spoiled products, lower it. Every loss is unacceptable, so carefully analyze where your loss is coming from, and implement a system that makes sense for everyone.
There are a number of warehouse management systems available, be sure to research and get a system that is custom-built for your industry.
Take care of your employees! Small investments in ergonomic equipment will go a long way in worker productivity. Workers will stay happy and refreshed. Not to mention the reduced benefits cost and liability by keeping your employees healthy.
The return on ergonomic investments should be carefully measured. It may take awhile to be able to measure the ROI on certain items. However, implementing items such as ergonomic mats and adjustable tables will immediately boost the morale of your staff, and they will reward you with higher productivity on the very first day.
Your warehouse must have structure. We prefer the 5S structure developed in Japan. Each of the following items in 5S encourage and promote employee involvement in the company’s bottom line.
We’ve seen much success in the food processing as well as manufacturing industries implementing a 5S system. Since the 5S system is a broad idea of efficiency, it can be implemented in any industry, in any situation.
Pallet racks are an absolute must for any warehouse. Pallet racks save an incredible amount of horizontal space, and allow machines and people to flow more efficiently. When combined with an implementation strategy, a pallet rack system will make an immediate return on your investment.
Warehouse Safety Education
Warehouse safety is without question the biggest investment your warehouse can make. Of course your warehouse has standard safety procedures, but the average safety program is insufficient. OSHA supplies a public list of fines and infractions issued for poor safety techniques. It’s not uncommon for warehouses to get six-digit fines just as a precaution! Don’t wait for an incident to happen, it’s much too late at that point.
We offer a series of safety posts in our blog. Here are a few to get you started:
Only you can prevent warehouse fires!
Many warehouse solutions seem too good to be true. That’s why it’s so important to provide measurable and quantifiable changes within a warehouse. Use case studies of other warehouses using similar technology, and see if you can improve on them.
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