5 key ways to improve warehouse efficiency


By Anthony Reed, freelance writer.

Warehousing has become an ever-more critical part of the economy as supply chain issues bite and customers turn to online shopping. The size of the market has increased significantly in recent years, according to IBISWorld statistics, but has failed to catch up to demand.

The result is that warehousing continues to be hard to come by. There are several answers to this conundrum, primarily increasing the supply of new warehousing space, but while warehouses are constructed, it’s important that warehouse businesses do what they can to boost the efficiency of their operations. In this guide, we explore how they can do so.

Adopt warehouse automation

Warehouse automation technologies are now being rolled out across the country as managers come around to the benefits of smart technologies like robotics, digital twins, and automated processes enabled by the Internet of Things.

Using tech such as low-cost single-board computers means that you can make our machines run smoothly while increasing efficiency. On top of that, you reduce labor costs, eliminate the risks inherent with human error, and prevent safety problems from creating downtime

Maximize space

Are you using every ounce of space in your warehouse? In many facilities, storage units only rise up to a portion of the location’s ceiling height, meaning stacks and stacks of warehousing space going to waste.

To prevent this from happening, invest in taller storage units that reach higher into your unit. Combined with robotics, this can enable you to not only boost the amount of space available, but reduce safety issues.

Use the 5S method

A great way to organize workstations for warehousing staff is through the 5S method: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. These five simple steps, taken together, will reduce the amount of time staff spend looking for tools and equipment, thereby increasing their productivity. On top of this, you may also find errors are reduced and safety improved, thanks to the reduced disorder.

Have an eye for stock

Extra stock is the enemy of warehousing operations: if it’s not in demand, it’s taking up valuable space. To increase productivity, adopt lean inventory processes, getting smaller but more regular deliveries from suppliers, and keeping a more watchful eye on order patterns to better predict when to increase or decrease stock.

Gather feedback

Your warehouse workers have a unique viewpoint of your operation that you should always consider when seeking productivity increases. Gather feedback from your staff on how the layout of the warehouse could be improved, where bottlenecks exist, and any other impediments to operations, then work to rectify the issues.

With the five steps above, you should be able to find ways to increase the effectiveness of your warehouse and get more done in the same space. Do you have any tips we haven’t mentioned? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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