Warehouse management seems easy in theory, but there are actually a lot of things you need to pay attention to in order to do it properly. It’s very important to manage your warehouse and organize it correctly because you’ll need all the order you can get when all those orders from customers start coming in. Many warehouse owners think that inventory management is an easy job, but the process takes a lot of time and will demand long hours of planning. Don’t lose motivation, though, as you’ll be able to do anything with the right tips and a little motivation.
1. Have a Plan
Your first step in inventory management is to have a good plan. Organizing your warehouse without a proper draft and blueprint of the place is practically impossible and pointless. Every warehouse has a different layout, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the place before you get started on anything. Once you know what you’re working with, you can begin to formulate a plan.
The whole point of the layout is that it can be navigated easily and that products can be easily accessible. Naturally, warehouses are composed of a lot of shelves, so you’ll want to find the best way to organize them in an orderly fashion.
Rows upon rows of shelves will be present, and you’ll need an excellent plan to easily access all of them.
2. Use Technology
Technological advancements can help virtually any company. When it comes to warehouses, technology can help you with your storing and picking processes. It’s much easier to get on with your day when you’ve got an automatic robot hand doing tedious work you would have been stuck on for the whole shift.
Technology can also help you track your inventory and stay on top of your orders. There are many apps and software designed specifically for this purpose – don’t be afraid to use them. Your mobile phone or work computer should have a digital inventory which you can easily manage and update according to what’s going on in the warehouse.
Even tracker IDs for products are widely available now, which means that you will be able to easily locate any product in the warehouse regardless of where it’s located. You won’t have to spend ages looking for a specific thing ever again.
3. Prioritize Inventory Management
Prioritizing can save you a lot of time and make it much easier for you to get things done around the warehouse. When it comes to prioritizing, it’s not about what client is more important, it’s about the size of the order. It used to be that warehouses fulfilled mainly bulk orders, but that’s not the only case today.
There are so many individual orders today, that a warehouse can practically be flooded by them. Even though these orders bring you more business and make you grow, they also take a while to process, and you need better organization and more people.
That’s why you should process these orders differently. Do all the bulk orders first as they’ll take less time, seeing that they’re all for the same client. Then you can have enough time to finish individual orders correctly. Also, store bulk orders and individual orders separately so as to have an easier time getting to the things you need and prioritizing.
4. Get the Right Equipment
Without state of the art equipment, you won’t get very far. When it comes to warehouses, especially big ones, good equipment can and will shorten order processing time and make the lives of the workers much easier. There are different parts of the inventory management process, and you can bet that there is equipment that corresponds to each part perfectly.
For a smooth operation, you’ll need quality hand trucks, long conveyor belts, sturdy hand trolleys, and maybe even a few reliable forklifts. These items will help you store, pick, and distribute items at a much higher speed with much better accuracy.
As well as that, don’t neglect the expansion equipment you’ll surely need when your business starts growing. This type of equipment serves a special purpose as it gives you more space to store things orderly. You can’t afford to not incorporate it into the design of the warehouse, as you’ll suffer great consequences from lack of space and order.
5. Hire More Workers
The number one misconception about warehouses is that you don’t need a lot of workers. This is simply untrue. Managing inventory and processing orders gets a lot harder when you’ve got only a few people running around the warehouse. You may not need a lot of workers in the beginning, but don’t be afraid to expand your workforce as soon as need occurs for it.
Also, don’t stick one person to a job that requires two people. The key to getting things done quickly and effortlessly but still correctly is to have the proper number of people assigned to a job. If one person does a two-person job, they’ll need twice the amount of time, they’ll encounter many challenges that would otherwise be avoidable.
As well as that, don’t waste your workforce all on one project. If the two-person job can be done by two people, there’s absolutely no reason to involve anyone else. Others can be put on different jobs and assignments, and thus you’ll effectively be on top of your inventory in all parts of the warehouse.
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As you can see, managing a warehouse properly is easy when you know what steps to follow. With these tips, you’ll be able to follow up on any order that a customer has placed, and you’ll be able to deliver excellent service every time. The key to a successful warehouse is definitely the speed at which the orders are completed and the organization inside the facility. With these tips, your workers will also be much happier and more productive, as they’ll have the perfect grounds to succeed and nail every assignment.