How to effectively manage your warehouse

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By Ray Simmonds, freelance writer.

Managing a warehouse can be a challenging task with the safety of your employees and the efficiency of operations at stake. To remain on top of these priorities, you must know how to manage your warehouse and ensure your team can work as safely and efficiently as possible. To help with this, we have put together some simple tips to point you in the right direction.

Warehouse organisation

Tidy warehouse, tidy mind. Establishing an efficient layout and keeping your space in order will help you to keep your warehouse organised. To do so reduce clutter, tidy workstations, and ensure you have adequate storage for equipment. This will help your team to work more effectively as they will spend less time looking for items and moving around aimlessly, leaving more time to complete important tasks.

Safety of employees

To ensure warehouse workers’ efficiency and to comply with safety regulations, you should provide your workers with protective equipment from high-quality PPE suppliers. This can include boots, helmets, and high visibility vests for example. Having this protective equipment will help to prevent accidents such as slips, trips, and falls and protect your workers. Your staff should also be trained in using PPE appropriately so they can get the most out of it. It’s also crucial you inspect this equipment so that it is always in working order.

Lean inventory practice

A lean inventory is void of unnecessary items. If you only have what is needed in your warehouse, workers can spend less time trawling through piles of useless objects, wasting time to find what they need. You can help to manage your inventory by placing more accurate orders for stock or buying fewer items more often. Effective inventory management is a sign of a well-organised warehouse and it will save both time and effort in the short and long-run.

Warehouse management systems

Your warehouse may be particularly large and you may need a hand managing aspects of operations. You can use a warehouse management system, (WMS) to help boost the efficiency of day-to-day activities. This powerful technology can be used to determine the smartest picking routes, generate pick lists, or even suggest ways to pack items.  

Vertical space usage

You can get the most out of the space in your warehouse by building up as well as only along the ground. With high ceilings and safe storage practices, you can utilise the vertical space in your warehouse by adding taller storage units and a variety of shelving. If doing this, ensure you have the appropriate equipment and keep in mind that items that need to be accessed more readily should be kept closer to the ground.

High quality equipment

Investing in higher quality equipment may cost you initially but it will be worthwhile as time goes on. Cheap equipment can harm productivity when mistakes are made and damage is caused. Ultimately, any ‘savings’ from low-quality equipment will cost you. Take your time to research what suits your needs most and don’t be afraid to invest as it will pay off.

Regular employee training

Your equipment is only as good as the people using it. Therefore, you must conduct regular employee training sessions to ensure that all employees are up to date with best practices. You should train your team on health and safety, how to use equipment, and workplace conduct. All of the above will help to increase productivity and workplace morale and your team will feel more comfortable in their surroundings and will be able to carry out their roles more effectively.

Conclusion

With an effective plan in place and the knowledge to carry it out, you should be prepared to manage your warehouse efficiently. Use these tips to create a framework for how you and your team manage the space you work in and don’t be afraid to adjust it to different requirements. Take your time considering all the possible options and how you can get the most out of your team and equipment in every scenario. Stay safe and good luck!

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