Managing a multi-channeled warehouse is more than just managing labour, freight, and inventory. There are lots of other things you can incorporate into the warehouse management system to make it more efficient and
increase productivity. With the increase in labor cost and rising costs of warehouse management, it is important to focus more on automation strategies to minimize cost while increasing ROI (Return on Investment). The following strategies can help you make your warehouse more efficient;
Implement Voice-Enabling Technology
Some vendors have reduced costs of operations by making use of the voice-enabling technology available. Thankfully, voice enabling can be
implemented in all departments and processes in the warehouse. Right from the receiving of goods to the shipping, and returns of items, you can automate every process with voice technology. The Voice-enabling technology will make inventory control faster which will lead to enhanced productivity. They are very quick to install and requires little or nor modification to their structure.
Consider a Third-Party Fulfillment
Third-party fulfillment may not be for everyone because many warehouse managers believe they can handle it for cheap. The third-party
fulfillment service is a special fulfillment where another company picks and pack items on behalf of a warehouse, and as orders are coming in, and then ship the products to the customers on behalf of the merchants. Doing this has a lot of benefits because it helps warehouse managers have more space for other items in the warehouse and there will be a drastic reduction in total distribution time.
It means customers will get some orders faster without the products passing through the warehouse.
Simplify Processes to Reduce Touches and Warehousing Costs
Over the years, you might have been layering some new functions over the same old existing ones but it has come to a point where product and order flow no longer make sense and are crisscrossing the floor. This could be the time to take a look at the physical processes as well as all processes involved in the product flow and your order fulfillment. Fewer steps taken will mean few touches and that means lower costs. You can start from packaging and storage processes where you can save more spaces by replacing bulkier packages with Heavy Duty Containers than can protect and facilitate the movement of items from one point to the other.
Make Your Frontline Managers More Efficient
Your frontline manager should be more efficient in executing several procedures, hence their ability to manage efficiently all aspects of the fulfillment, orders will radically affect the costs of running the business, and the quality of customer order fulfillment, not forgetting the motivation to achieve success. You need to identify their individual needs, and you need to identify new exposures that will make them understand your merchandise, customers and vendors even better. You need to identify the available training and resources that will help your frontline managers to become more efficient in handling daily warehouse management tasks.
Track Your Metrics
The only way you can improve warehouse efficiencies is when you understand the key metrics you attach productivity with, and what your
targets are. You need to understand your baseline, this is exactly the lowest point you are starting from. You must also know your target, which is how you track the individual staff p[performances against those targets. The key metrics will vary from one company to the other but they should be easily and quickly measurable. If you spend a whole week gathering data to measure certain metrics then that method is not useful and must be replaced. You need to evaluate your metrics and break it down. If for instance, you need to measure productivity, you need to have some metrics of measurement that must be readily accessible and measurable. You need to break
such metrics for measurement down to about 5 that you can keep track of at any moment.
Communicate all Metris of Measuring Success to the Staffs, Effectively
Most employees are motivated when they receive updates on their performances. You may want to put a dashboard and report how many
orders the staffs have picked today and how many left to go for the day. Put the average pick time for each order, and the orders left to be picked, on a large screen. You will be surprised how motivated the staffs will get knowing fully well that the sooner they complete processing orders, the earlier they can go home and the more productive they become, which means more Returns on Investment (ROI). Constant Communication with front line managers and other staffs is one of the most critical steps you need to take to improve productivity.
Incremental Adoption of Time-tested Tools
The emphasis of warehouse manager should be on the adoption of time-tested tools developed by Industry leaders for each process of warehouse management. These warehouse managers must adopt a just-in-time technology from the top to the bottom of warehousing management. Just-in-time technology is just right to accomplish the highest number of tasks without errors in the right amount of time.
The implementation of a warehouse system perhaps is the best possible way to increase warehouse management, in an advance way. The warehouse management system you choose must be uniquely designed for your own needs. Instead of choosing an isolated workflow and pick-pack option, you should consider a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that will optimize your entire customer fulfillment processes and helps you save a huge amount of effort, time, energy and labor cost. A WMS will also provide real-time visibility into your operations by providing 24/7 centralized data that you need to monitor to improve performances. It is without a single doubt that a personalized Warehouse Management System is the most effective advance means of increasing the overall productivity in the warehouse while reducing costs of labor and materials and at the same time increasing Returns on Investment (ROI). You may have to test several WMS before you identify the one that is most suited for your warehouse operations. The more you get used to these advance tips, the more efficient your warehouse management techniques become.