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Your warehouse operations are not just a peripheral concern for your business success. It is an intrinsic part of how well you serve your customers and how easily you can turn orders into profits. A number of key factors will influence the success of your warehouse functions and how they affect your day-to-day operations.
1. Strategic Storage
Thoughtful planning of your warehouse storage needs is critical to the efficient function of your business. You should be concerned not only about having sufficient inventory on hand, but also have a strategy for manipulating frequently used items versus items that experience less usage. However, item turnover can change rapidly, and business owners and managers should do monthly reviews to ensure that needs are being properly met by the current storage layout design.
2. Careful Inventory Control
Keeping on top of what is being used and how often to order each product are also important factors in good warehouse management. Rapidly-changing customer needs can create bottlenecks and delays that affect profits. Regular inventory counts, usage reviews and supply chain evaluations can help to keep your operations lean and efficient. Business owners can choose from a wide range of inventory software to suit their needs. Assigning personnel to review current and future inventory control systems will allow you to make the necessary changes as soon as they are needed.
3. Efficient Materials Handling
Periodic review of the company’s material handling needs can help you to find the warehouse blockages and slowdowns that can cost you money. Updating your lift equipment, tow tractors, dock levelers and vehicle controllers can cut warehouse lags significantly to expedite your operations.
4. Thorough Training of Personnel
Ensuring that your warehouse personnel are knowledgeable about your warehouse systems can ensure not only the safety of your workers, but also help to ensure efficient retrieval and inventory management for your customers. The warehouse supervisor, in particular, must be adept at utilizing your warehouse management system. These workers often serve the middle ground between workers and management. They are involved in a variety of different functions and must have extensive management skills to ensure that the operation functions successfully and safely. Additional training for supervisory positions should be a part of every warehouse management system.
Efforts to stay on top of warehouse efficiency pays off in a more effective workforce and dramatic improvements in your bottom line. With these four measures, you will ensure that your warehouse operations are working at optimum performance.