Whether your business is struggling in performance terms, or you’re looking for general efficiency improvements, the way that your warehouse functions could be having a big impact. You’ll always be able to upgrade the way that your warehouse operates – even if it seems that your current setup is as optimal as it gets, there is always room for improvement.
Analyse the relationship between stock and sales
If you’re selling physical items then you need to ensure that you always have enough stock to meet orders but avoid a situation where stock is sitting around taking up expensive warehouse space. In an efficient warehouse, stock is present for the minimum time before being sold and shipped. When you analyse the relationship between stock and sales you may notice you have unused stock present for long stretches of time. Small changes to re-balance the relationship between stock and sales could significantly improve your overall warehouse efficiency and reduce costs.
Look closely at picking and packing
The picking process should be swift and it should be accurate – if it’s not then you’ll have a lot of returns to deal with, as well as customers unhappy with delays in receiving their items. Speeding up the picking process while also improving accuracy will significantly boost your warehouse operations. There are many ways to achieve this, from simply changing the position of popular items in the warehouse to retraining staff.
Make sure your inventory is reliable
It’s essential that your database and your physical stock match up or you won’t have accurate oversight on what’s in your warehouse. If that happens, efficiency is impossible and it could result in non-deliveries and badly informed reordering decisions. Automating inventory, or introducing new control and monitoring systems, can ensure that your numbers all add up and your warehouse is operating at optimum efficiency.
Are you on top of the carrying cost?
An accurate carrying cost is the positive result of an efficient warehouse. Working out the carrying cost – i.e. the combination of warehouse overheads, service costs and any other expense generated by holding stock – is essential to ensuring stock continuity, general operational efficiency and accurate oversight. If you’re having problems with stock management or costs are escalating then it might be time to look again at your carrying cost calculations to see where changes could be introduced to make them more accurate.
Rate order fulfilment in terms of closeness to perfection
How many of your orders contain the right items and get to the right place at the right time? If this is a low percentage of total orders then your warehouse efficiency is suffering and it may be time to reevaluate whether the processes you’re using could be improved. Another indication of issues is a large buildup of back orders – where this is happening, it may be useful to review the processes you use to accurately predict and fulfill orders. Upgrade these and you’ll be able to boost overall warehouse efficiency.
We offer logistics solutions with efficiency in mind – contact UCS today to find out more about our services.