Simple Yet Effective Ideas for Organising Warehouse Operations

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Whether you’re a newly developed e-commerce operator or a well-established manufacturing firm, the warehouse and inventory storage spaces you utilise will likely be at the core of your business, serving as the platform from which orders are fulfilled, new stock is received and packaging materials are held. It’s perhaps a given, then, that optimising the space should be a top priority for any business wishing for consistent growth in the long term. 

There are numerous steps businesses can take to optimise their warehouse, both in terms of stock volumes, storage layouts and process flow for picking goods and fulfilling orders. So, to make sure your warehouse space is optimised for continued consistency, here are some simple ideas for improved operational performance.

Integrate a warehouse management system into your business

Warehouse management systems are the first port of call for businesses aiming to put better planning into practice, letting you track and locate inventory, record the movement of products and measure operational data. Adoption of a warehouse management system will allow businesses to monitor and gather information, categorise stock and keep track of SKUs, letting you maximise your warehouse setup and process flow for improved efficiency. 

Establish an optimised warehouse layout 

When assessing your business’s operational efficiency, it can often be necessary to step back and think about the larger issue of your warehouse layout. Does the arrangement serve to provide access to the most commonly accessed goods? Is there a logical flow and an organised layout that ensures stock is received, housed and picked in a safe, non-disruptive manner?

Consider how goods are zoned and the method of access for popular products. Spend time on the warehouse floor with supervising staff assessing the process flow and measuring system efficiency by gauging the degree to which the arrangement of racking, pack stations and fulfilment points limit storage capacities and the movement of staff and equipment.

Create distinct zones with tape and signage

In a volatile trading landscape, and with the ongoing threat of continued operational difficulties caused by covid restrictions, having clear signage can be a huge step in simplifying access to distinct warehouse areas and maintaining distancing between staff. By making use of marking tape, quarantine areas can be easily identified, and aisles, lanes and tools can be categorised, helping new staff to quickly get to grips with system layouts and procedures. 

Make use of labelling to classify your goods

Accessing your products should be simple and intuitive. And to maintain a consistent method of accessing stock, categorising goods using a logical system (by the frequency with which goods are picked, for example) will help your business work with greater efficiency. 

Using SKU labels with consistent positioning on racking will make checking the pick locations of goods quick and easy, while labelling totes, bins or pallets of stock with other such identifying information (such as a material type, manufacturer or origin) will simplify inventory management processes. 

Hold fewer packaging materials on site  

Storing your packaging materials onsite can create organisational stresses and reduce storage capacities for other products. To offset this issue, consider setting up a stockholding agreement, whereby your packaging supplier will store your packaging and provide delivery on a just-in-time basis, accounting for increases over seasonal periods. 

If you’d like to discuss changing your packaging requirements to allow for flexible stockholding and delivery services, send us a message for more information, or phone: 01543 396700