With online shopping continuing to grow in popularity, demand has never been higher for fast and efficient fulfillment services. As a fulfillment warehouse, you need to be able to ship products as quickly and accurately as possible.
That’s where warehouse storage and organization come in. Nothing can kill productivity faster than a disorganized warehouse, so let’s break down the best ways to keep your operation running smoothly.
Why is an Organized Warehouse Essential for Fulfillment?
There are a few problems you can encounter when your warehouse isn’t organized or running properly, such as:
- Wasted Time – If workers have to walk back and forth to pick items for shipments, those seconds and minutes can add up. Even just 15 minutes per employee for a 50-person warehouse could lead to 3,000 minutes lost in a year.
- More Returns and Refunds – Mis-picked orders can lead to dissatisfied customers, meaning they’re more likely to return their items. Unfortunately, putting these products back on the shelves is more wasted time for your staff.
- Inaccurate Inventory Counts – If your inventory is not organized properly, you can order more products than you need or delay ordering because you think you have more than you do. Either way, such inefficiencies can cost you dearly in the long run.
Overall, every piece of your warehouse is like a cog in a well-oiled machine. One faulty part could cause a chain reaction that could lead to major headaches and higher operating costs.
Top Five Ways to Keep Your Warehouse Organized
Because warehouse organization and storage are so critical for success, let’s look at five ways you can improve your operational efficiency. Best of all, you can combine strategies for even more benefits that lead to more clients, happier customers, and fewer returns.
Invest in High-Tech Solutions
Fortunately, we’re living in a golden age of technology, so there are multiple options available, including:
- RFID Tags – These tags make it easier for pickers and inventory managers to stay up-to-date with production levels. Tags can be on bins or individual items, depending on your needs. As workers scan these tags, your inventory management system updates automatically.
- Worker Tracking Software – Programs can keep track of individual employees and how they move throughout a given shift. If you notice a lot of time spent going back and forth, you can figure out what’s causing that extra wasted time and fix it accordingly.
- Order Tracking – As items move in and out of your warehouse, you should know details like where they came from, how long they stayed in the warehouse, how they were shipped, and their final destination. Warehouse management software allows you to track inventory in real time so you’re never out of the loop.
Review Your Warehouse Layout
So much time is wasted with inefficient picking methods. For example, let’s say you have multiple types of the same product. If you don’t store these items together, workers have to go searching for each variety.
As a general rule, you want to place similar items in the same area and rank products based on seller info. Best-selling items should stick together while infrequent purchases can get moved to an area with less-heavy traffic.
If workers also have to sign in and out or submit documentation, you can place this station next to the fulfillment center. This way, employees can finish an order and fill out the paperwork without too much downtime in between.
Create a Waste Management System
A dirty or disheveled warehouse is an inefficient warehouse. Not only can empty boxes and other items pose a safety threat, but it’s much harder to verify your inventory levels.
So, it’s better to come up with a waste management system so workers know where to put packaging and other items. You can also have a picking system so individuals empty a current supply box before opening another one.
Focus on Safety
Just like a dirty warehouse, an unsafe warehouse is also highly inefficient. Usually, unsafe environments occur when the company cuts corners and doesn’t take its employee’s health seriously.
Safety measures can include apparel, best practices for dangerous items, clear marking for forklift paths, and more. Overall, the more you invest in extra-safe measures, the more likely your warehouse will stay safe and efficient.
Keep Warehouse Staff Trained
Employee morale and turnover are two of the biggest threats to the fulfillment industry. eCommerce giants like Apple and Amazon are struggling to retain workers, thanks to long hours, grueling working conditions, and more.
Maintaining a regular training schedule can help keep your employees sharp and motivated. Not only can you cover existing problems and risk factors, but you can also look at potential future situations.
Even better, staff training can be fun and engaging, further bringing everyone together when they’re on the clock.
By utilizing these top five tips, you can improve your operational efficiency greatly, leading to a higher level of client satisfaction while also creating a more cohesive environment for your staff.
For More Information About ShipHero
Whether you want to let go of running your own warehouse, or run your warehouse better, you can do both – and so much more – with ShipHero.
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