Because warehousing plays such a central role in delivery, the way your warehouse functions can have a big impact on overall business performance. There are always ways to optimise the set-up that you already have. Whether you’re actively looking for options to improve warehouse efficiency or not, investigating warehouse functionality could expose some areas for serious improvement.
How accurate is your inventory?
If you’ve noticed that there are inconsistencies in stock numbers, or orders can’t be fulfilled, then you may have an issue with inventory accuracy. Your database and your physical stock need to match up at all times and if they don’t currently do this when your warehouse is not functioning at optimum efficiency. You could lose customers through late or non-delivered orders and all efforts to manage and sell stock will be impeded if the inventory is providing the wrong figures.
How well does the picking process work?
A poorly optimised picking process is slow and wasteful, costing you both in terms of time and potentially financial loss too. If the picking process is inaccurate then you’ll also have some very unhappy customers to deal with, plus the cost of returns and supplying the correct item.
Does your warehouse give you certainty on inventory turnover?
The carrying cost for your inventory is basically everything involved in holding it, including warehouse overheads and service costs. When a warehouse is operating at maximum efficiency a manager is able to work out an accurate carrying cost and make changes that will ensure stock continuity and help contribute to an increase in turnover. Where this isn’t happening, the warehouse tends to impact in the opposite way – increased costs and problems with stock management.
How close are you to perfect order fulfillment?
Perfect order fulfillment is the percentage of orders delivered to the right place, with the right contents, at the right time. If you have a high rate of perfect orders then you have a well-organised operation that isn’t failing you on the warehouse front. On the other side of the coin are back orders i.e. those orders that can’t be fulfilled due to lack of stock. There’s no clearer sign of a warehouse in trouble than a large number of back orders. It means that the processes in place to accurately predict and fulfill orders are not working and the contribution made by the warehouse may need to be re-thought.
What’s the balance of stock and sales?
The relationship between the volume of stock you have and the number of sales you make is a key one for any business selling physical products. The ideal is one where this balance is finely maintained – stock is held in the warehouse for only a minimum amount of time before being shipped out when sold. Efficient warehouses contribute a lot to this equation, ensuring that stock doesn’t sit around unused for long periods of time, saving on costs and ensuring that you don’t run out of room for fresh stock. If you have issues with stock gathering dust then your warehouse isn’t running at optimum efficiency and you might need a new solution.
Find out more about how you can get your warehousing functioning at optimum efficiency by outsourcing your needs to UCS today – call us on 08448 793229 to find out more.