How to Improve Warehouse Productivity

Increasing warehouse productivity is a top priority for warehouse managers around the world. But what is the most effective way to increase storage productivity? With so many variables like work, people, workloads, planning, and third-party providers (over which you have less control), it can be difficult to identify areas you need to focus on.  Although the best strategy for improving warehouse productivity can vary from company to company,

Below are ways to improve warehouse productivity.

Maximize and optimize all available space

Instead of increasing the footprint of your warehouse, make better use of the vertical space. Adding higher storage devices and hardware selection and storage devices can help you save more storage space on the same surface instead of increasing expansion costs. Also think about the type and variety of shelves used. The storage of small items on pallet shelves gives away space and facilitates the loss of items. Instead of using the same racks in your warehouse, you may need different shelf types for different materials. Also, try to use standardized containers to keep the shelves clean and tidy.

Lean inventory

A lighter bearing for your warehouse is very important.  The basic principle of Lean is only what you need and nothing more. Reduce or eliminate safety stock and try to get suppliers to deliver smaller quantities more frequently.

Adoption of basic technology

A Warehouse Management System (WMS) or an ERP system with a powerful WMS module can improve efficiency by suggesting the best routes and methods for picking. In addition, the system provides automated pick lists that can be sent to readers and mobile devices to minimize mistakes, save time, and paper. Your warehouse will be cleaner and greener. The use of bar code readers or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) can improve the accuracy of transactions and reduce sampling errors as well.

Organize workstations

Workplace organization improves productivity by not having to search for tools or equipment. Use Lean Manufacturing’s 5S method to make sure your workstations are organized as well as possible. It consists of: sorting; set in order; shine; standardize; and sustain – all techniques to avoid clutter, reduce errors, and improve organization.

Optimize labor efficiency

If your WMS can not create efficient sampling plans, create them manually. Analyze your material usage patterns and store frequently picked itmes on the floor closer to shipping to save travel time.  If you keep the items you most frequently select in the most accessible locations, you’ll streamline the process to avoid delays in order picking.

Initiate the nesting of tasks

This strategy reduces downtime – the scenario in which workers select products and put them in a dock, and then return to the picking area without performing any useful tasks along the way, such as: For example, picking products for a different order. An electric picking cart can be useful for this best practice.

Increase the presence of management

Increase the presence of management in the warehouse. This shows employees that management knows and understands their importance to the company. The conscientious workers will see that management recognizes their commitment and will likely continue to perform.  Practice the principle of MBWA (Manage By Wandering Around).  Sometimes something as simple as helping shipping pack boxes will motivate your employees to work harder.

Implement a Warehouse Control System (WCS)

Use these tools to manage processes that can affect the performance of your warehouse management system. WCS can control conveyor belts and sorting systems; Optimization of sampling and packaging waves; Sending selection information to speech processing systems; and direct packaging operations.

Use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID improves operational accuracy and efficiency by making the critical points of the process more visible, enabling inventory management and real-time coordination in the supply chain.

Encourage the workers

Use data collection tools to compare employee and benchmark results against the standard. When workers know they are being measured, they generally improve their accuracy and picking / packing rate. The data collection also helps you analyze the profitability of continuous improvements such as powered mobile trucks.


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