Warehouses have changed dramatically in the last decade. Even more recently than that, COVID, the e-commerce boom, and the impact of ship from store fulfillment have changed warehouses again. Every warehouse has to have a strategy that covers everything under the umbrella of the warehouse. Here’s some of our tips for an effective warehousing strategy.
Forecast Sales: Looking at past sales records can allow you to organize products and schedule workers accordingly depending on what you can predict from past sales. This can be month over month or year over year.
Schedule Maintenance: As automation has spread, companies have increased their reliance on machines for successful production. This has alleviated the burden of labor, but has opened up a door for problems with regard to technical problems and maintenance issues. Having a scheduled maintenance plan gives you regular reporting on how your machines are functioning so you can get ahead of any problems.
Semi-Automation: For smaller warehouses, fully automated equipment may not be possible. However, semi-automation allows line workers to use equipment to get the packaging processes accomplished. For example, tape dispensing machines make it fast and easy to get tape ready for packages. This type of machinery is also cost effective so most companies can speed up operations.
Monitoring systems: It is important for companies to have a security system to protect their warehouses. Historically, this was done with humans. Now, much of this labor cost is cut down by having electronic security systems and other technology to ensure their products are safe from external (as well as internal) threats.
Warehouse management system: Most companies have a WMS in place, but are you using the right one. Sometimes we get caught using the same system because it’s what we know, but is it most effective. If you haven’t evaluated your WMS in the last 5+ years, it might be time to see what is new on the market and make sure you are getting the best use of resources.
Organization: Often times there are SKUs that go together to create commonly purchased kits; or there are products that are commonly purchased in packs of 2 or more. These are just a few examples of things that can impact how a warehouse should be organized for the easiest packing and shipping experience.