For a manufacturing company to succeed and improve its production capabilities, it needs to first manage its warehouse and inventory efficiently. In order to improve warehouse operations and manage inventory more efficiently, consider the following tips:
Implement an Automated Data System
The use of RFID (radio-frequency identification) systems, barcodes, or any other inventory tracking technology to manage goods in a warehouse can help reduce the risk of human error. When workers are tasked with collecting data manually, this can be risky and affect warehouse efficiencies. Failure to correctly note down the correct number or letter can be the difference in losing a lot of money.
By implementing automated data systems, business owners will be able to store up-to-date data with greater ease. Workers are also able to access the information instantly at any time. In addition, adopting an ERP system with a strong warehouse management system (WMS) module can help improve overall efficiency by suggesting the best methods and routes for picking or storing goods.
A well-arranged and organized warehouse makes it easy for workers to locate products, equipment, and tools. This helps to reduce human error and improve workplace safety as well. To organize a workstation, you need to adopt the 5s: sorting, setting in order, shinning, standardizing, and sustaining. This system helps to keep clutter at bay.
Adopting a lean inventory in manufacturing is important and the same concept applies to a warehouse as well. The basic rule to maintain a lean inventory by storing only what you need and nothing more. In addition, you can work toward reducing or possibly eliminating safety stocks and trying to get suppliers to deliver smaller quantities frequently.
Maximize Available Space
Instead of worrying on how to expand the footprint of your warehouse, think more on how to better maximize any available vertical space. Rather than incurring expansion costs, it is wiser to add tall storage units and invest in the right storage kits to be able to store more items in the same square footage. In addition, consider the type and variety of shelves you use. Different materials need different types of shelving. For example, if you store small things on pallet racks, you may end up wasting space and items can easily get misplaced. Consider using standardized bins to keep shelves orderly and neat.
Optimize Labor Efficiency
You can reduce travel time in your warehouse by storing high-volume items together near the front of the facility. Also, you can analyze your material usage and keep the items that are frequently used or sold near one another. This system not only eliminates picking delays, but also fastens operations resulting in more productivity.
Plan Ahead With Picking Procedures
Plan in advance with an efficient freight company on picking hours. This prevents last minute work and helps to eliminate the inconvenience of being short-handed during peak periods. Recognizing picking style patterns helps floor managers to direct pickers to the areas that require the most work.
Once you enhance your warehouse and inventory management efficiency, you are expected to achieve:
- Reduced error rates
- Increased productivity
- Improved order fulfillment
- Increased operational efficiency
- Minimized inventory holding costs