Maximizing Warehouse Performance: Common Problems Solved
Improving the performance of your warehouse can be tricky; you’re trying to balance the expense of improvements against the value you predict that the improvements will offer. “Distributors have to deal with trade-offs due to resource limitations, leading to under performance in key functional areas,” said a writer for Newcastle Systems. “Warehouse managers face the challenge of maximizing performance while balancing trade-offs under uncertain conditions.”
But well-performing warehouses have some things in common. They are:
- Accurate. They manage the flow of inventory with precision.
- Dynamic. Their systems are nimble enough to handle inevitable changes.
- Controlled. They are secure, monitored, safe and clean.
- Cost-efficient. They optimize expenses against costs.
Here are a few ways you can address some common warehousing problems. They can help streamline your resources and increase your output.
Problem: Seasonal inventory fluctuation
You can plan for some seasonal fluctuation, but the economy can be less predictable. When the economy shifts, demand for inventory decreases, which means you need transport and storage for inventory that is sitting idle, and fast.
Solution: Be ready to get extra temporary storage or warehouse space
It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen with the economy, but staying on top of marketplace trends can help you prepare. Use timely, accurate information about the manufacturing and retailing industry to forecast demand. Before a crisis hits, think through how you’d source transportation, additional warehousing or temporary storage.
Problem: Inefficient use of space
Inadequate storage space and poor storage configuration wastes valuable space, staff time and creates more wear and tear on equipment.
Solution: Reconfigure your space and get extra storage if you need it
Rework the layout of your warehouse and reorganize placement of your inventory to get the most from your space. Factor in both horizontal and vertical spaces, ranking inventory placement by demand, so highest-selling items are easy to access.
Once you’ve maximized the use of the space you have, find the right storage container and warehousing solutions to store the rest. Containers come in all shapes and sizes, with long or short-term leases.
Problem: Inventory Management and Redundant Processes
Sometimes it’s necessary for a ticket to pass through multiple hands during fulfillment, but often these time-consuming redundancies can be avoided.
Solution: Review your inventory management processes
If you haven’t already, connect your physical inventory to your virtual inventory with a barcode scanner. A cycle-count procedure might also help, as well as priority picking using a color-coded system. Consider investing in innovative technologies that will pay off in the long run.
Citi-Cargo owns and operates more than 850,000 square feet of secure, monitored, and temperature-controlled public warehousing space in the Twin Cities and Fargo/Moorhead areas. Talk to us about additional services that can help you manage your ever-evolving inventory and logistic needs. Learn more or call us at (800) 864-3752.