In order to truly optimize the functionality of your warehouse, you need to examine every corner by tooth and comb. Analyzing infrastructure, workflows and inefficiencies is a mammoth job, but help speed up the process, we’re sharing seven tips to get you started.
Create a futureproof floor plan
Your warehouse needs to work for the present demand while also offering room for growth. In order to create an efficient layout, you should consider where products are stored in relation to where they will be packed to ship. Take a look at walkways and aisles to ensure there are no obstructions that will make the picking process slower. Finally, make sure all components that need to be assembled together are within close proximity to boost productivity and efficiency.
When it comes to using up storage space, a general rule of thumb is to stick to 85% occupancy. That includes room for stock, deliveries, packing, and anything else that needs to take place in the warehouse. Going over the 85% mark can quickly lead to congestion which will ultimately slow down the workflow.
High demand items in easy locations
One key element of warehouse optimization is inventory analysis. By understand which items are most in demand, you can rearrange the warehouse so that these items are in easy-to-pick locations. This is the same for warehouses that are responsible for assembling products; make sure the key components are in the most accessible areas of the store facility. This will ultimately streamline the time it takes from production to picking and delivering to the customer.
Bring quality control nearer the packing area
The final step before products are packed for shipping is quality control. By placing this department right next to the parking area, products can quickly be transferred with less risk of contamination and unnecessary handling.
Use the 5S Method
If you’re looking to reclaim floor space within the warehouse, using the 5S method can clear things up in no time: sort, set in order, shine (clean), standardize and systemize. You’ll be surprised how much ‘stuff’ that accumulates over years of business. Find out more here.
Optimize aisle width
By reducing the size of the picking aisles, you can increase storage space dramatically. You will be able to increase the number of aisles and pallet racks which ultimately means you can carry more stock. Just remember to optimize the aisle width to suit workflow. If you use forklifts to move stock, you’ll need wider aisles than if you were only picking products by hand.
Use hard boundaries
When segmenting different areas of the warehouse, try to use hard boundaries to reduce the risk of overspill. That way, each area is separate, and there’s less chance of things getting overcrowded.
Don’t make a picker’s job any harder than it needs to be. Create an organized labeling process that allows staff to easily navigate through aisles to find the right items. Without this, you’ll be wasting valuable time and money.
There are a huge number of other tips for optimizing your warehouse to increase productivity and maximize profits. Let us know what your favorite tips are.