Dec 22, 2017
Great endeavors always start with a plan
The Pyramids, as mysterious as their construction may be, had planning and a clear set of instructions. Blocks had to be sourced, a work force had to be secured, a budget had to be adhered to and directions for the workers had to be relayed. It is hard to imagine a structure that was the tallest on earth for 3,800 years was built by just winging it.
Processes had to be in place and clearly defined. So many businesses start out doing just that.
It starts small, a lot of time pen and paper is all that is used to manage inventory. Sales are good. Who cares how it gets out the door. But then sales start to grow. Minute flaws in process or lack there of are now magnified as the scale of the business grows. A clear definition of process is paramount for growth in logistics and sales.
Warehouse management is comprised of location, inventory, packing, shipping, the movers of it and organizers of it all - the people. Definition of inventory process will begin by examining these categories, looking at the resources available and looking for economy of motion and efficiency in process.
This is the physical warehouse. You will want to look at your shelving and types of inventory and lay out your warehouse with economy of motion in mind.
When defining a process, you will want to take a detailed look at what inventory is moving and how much. Lay out the fastest moving items in logical order in your warehouse. Are items easy to get to? Are they organized in needs to easy scanning and picking? If an order comes in for a particular item are your warehouse workers able to find product easily?
Once inventory is picked, it needs to be packed and prepared for shipment. There should be a dedicated space for packing. Free of clutter and packing materials easily accessed and ready.
Almost hand in hand with the packing area, the shipping area should be organized and clutter free so the different shipping channels can be divided. Are label printers available and queued for printing the correct labels. Is there a clear direction on what to do to print those labels out?
The back bone of any warehouse is the people that move the inventory. Having clear guidelines and instructions for employees takes away the guess work of where things go and how it should be done. The old days of relying on tribal knowledge for process should be eliminated.
Clear definition of process that takes into account location, inventory, packing shipping and the human element will ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible and will ultimately save you money. Contact us - we can help you execute and optimize your warehouse with topShelf software.