Creating and managing a successful warehouse environment is a complicated challenge. Paying close attention to the following will help guarantee a safer and more productive workplace.
1) It must be well organised
In order to provide maximum warehouse efficiency, it’s essential that your most popular stocked items are stored in a location that is most easily accessible by operators. By sensibly arranging your most commonly purchased items together, your workers will be able to load and unload at a faster rate. Consider a department store; everything is arranged logically, next to related items.
2) Always inspect your orders when they arrive
Always examine your orders when they arrive, regardless of how long you’ve been doing business your suppliers. Neglecting to do so, will cost your business big time if the order is wrong, or if the goods are damaged.
3) Have a sensible order picking procedure in place
If you have a warehouse that typically processes a small volume of orders from a large number of items, it’s important to establish a picking system that doesn’t force forklift operators to be constantly going ‘to and from’ to fulfil the order. Likewise, if your warehouse handles a high amount of smaller orders, arrange each checklist by item groups and finalise each item by the customer’s order number once it hits the authentication stage.
4) Rearrange your warehouse stock when required
Product popularity can change markedly, from one moment to the next and when it does, you must be able to rearrange the layout of your warehouse stock accordingly, to cope with changing buyer demands. Always ensure that your most popular items are given prime real estate that enables workers to access them quickly and efficiently.
5) Have effective quality control systems in place
In every bustling warehouse, instances where defective or incorrect products are accidentally picked, are unavoidable. To prevent these undesired products from accumulating, it’s important to have a specific area of the warehouse dedicated to storing and redistributing them to their appropriate picking location.
6) Ensure safety is your number one priority
The number one priority in any warehouse environment is safety. Failure to implement appropriate safety protocols increases the risk of worker injuries, fatalities and damage to warehouse equipment, such as pallet racking. To be certain that your workplace is compliant with all necessary health and safety regulations, be sure to contact a qualified OHS specialist. An OHS consultant can establish a complete set of warehouse safety guidelines for you. Beyond this, there are a number of things you can do to help reduce or avoid workplace mishaps.
To prevent worker injuries, always ensure that aisles and walkways are free from any debris, discarded items, spilled liquids or any other warehouse equipment that has been left lying around. Ensure that there is adequate lighting throughout the warehouse. Secure and put away all hazardous substances and place all electric cabling below the floors to help prevent fires.
7) Ensure all workers are properly trained
Well trained personnel don’t just provide a more productive workplace; in the event of a work-related injury, they may also prevent the loss of life. Having all employees up-to-date with the latest safety procedures and warehouse guidelines will help protect themselves and their co-workers from harm. Be sure to always have a first aid kit at the premises and arrange to have the training redone over again at regular intervals to prevent staff from forgetting what they’ve learned.
8) Have order tracking set up
When customers order goods from you, they want to be able to see exactly where it is in the order process. Some companies have very precise order tracking in place that goes beyond simply ‘order received’, ‘order shipped’ and so on. Having a high-quality tracking system in place will keep customers up to date on their order status and help alleviate any frustration or impatience.