When it comes to managing a warehouse, you can’t take things lightly. Processes and systems are what will keep your warehouse running smoothly and your team on the same page. As soon as you start to slip up and make mistakes or exceptions, you’ll find that orders start getting mixed up and profitability goes down.
In today’s blog post, we’ll be discussing some of the best warehouse management processes that you can use to ensure that you’re getting only the best out of your warehouse team.
Taking in Shipments = Receiving
The first thing you need to take care of is receiving. The best warehouse managers know how important it is for them to have a good system in place that allows their team members to consistently receive shipments without any issues or mix-ups. There are several ways that you can develop systems and processes to optimize receiving. But one of the most important things to consider when it comes to receiving is efficiency.
As your warehouse grows, the number of shipments that your team receives is going to grow rapidly. If you fail to build a warehouse management system that allows your team members to quickly and accurately receive shipments, the warehouse will become disorganized.
Tips for Optimizing Your Receiving Department
- Implement digital tools
- Create good flows of communication
The goal of optimizing the receiving processes throughout your warehouse is to help your team move faster with fewer mistakes and missteps. If your warehouse crew doesn’t know about incoming shipments, where to take them, or when they’ll need to be moved, You’re going to be left with random cargo and shipments throughout the loading dock.
One way to better optimize this process is to implement a digital receiving tool that allows your employees to scan inventory when they’re receiving. By doing this, they’ll be able to know exactly where a shipment came from, where it needs to go, and how to handle it correctly.
Storage and Put Away
After you’ve received a shipment, it’s time to warehouse that inventory. If your warehouse doesn’t have the right storage practices in place, then order fulfillment can take a lot longer than it should. In addition, your team might misplace or miscount shipments and leave you with dead inventory.
Tips for Storage Optimization
Ultimately your goal is to have all of your inventory stored in a system that makes things easily accessible and fast for your warehouse staff. Without that warehouse, pickers will be left wandering through the warehouse, looking for what they need. Consider placing specific items that often sell in more accessible locations. Items that are frequently picked together can be placed closer together to help save time. Key tips for success
- Shipments are stored faster and more efficiently
- Travel time is minimized for pickers
- Goods and employees are stored in the safest environment
- Warehouse storage space is optimized
- Shipments and inventory are easier to find, track, and retrieve
We’ve talked a lot about how each of these steps plays into efficiency and how much time that your employees will spend throughout the different warehouse processes. Picking is one of the more consistent and time-consuming processes.
Every time an order comes in, someone will need to go and find those items, get them packed, and be ready to ship. But if it takes too long to find each item, you’ll likely be left with a long list of things that need to get picked and not enough time to pick them all.
Tips for Optimizing Your Picking Process
The warehouse pick process is all about consistency. By keeping the warehouse clean and organized, you’ll help your employees find items faster. When you first start warehouse management, make sure to establish clear guidelines for your employees on how items should be stored and where they’re all located. This will speed the warehouse pick process up significantly.
A good software system that maps out the warehouse can help your employees navigate their way through the warehouse to the different products they need to find.
Next on your list of processes should be packing. You’ve got all the orders picked and in place for them to be packed and prepped for shipment. The big thing about packing is fitting everything into a box or packaging so that it can be protected and shipped in as few packages as possible. If you’re shipping large items, then this can be more challenging. But, for small items and orders with more than one item, being smart with packing is very important.
Tips for Optimizing Packing Processes
Optimizing this process will consist of a few different things. First, you’ll want to make sure that you have the proper tool to help with packaging. This includes items for keeping shipments protected as well as tape to secure your boxes. Next, if you’re regularly shipping lots of similar items, you can create a packing chart so that each and every shipment meets the proper requirements before heading out your doors.
Shipping Packages and Inventory
Last on the list of warehouse processes is shipping. In many cases, shipping isn’t as important to the warehouse company because there isn’t as much to do after packaging everything up, and it’s not nearly as important to spend time and resources on. But, there are some simple steps that you can take to make your shipments better and to improve customer retention.
While you might not be responsible for the package or inventory after it’s in the hands of the shipper, there are ways that you can make that transition more smooth.
Tips for Optimizing Shipments
One of the big ways shipping services can be improved on the warehouse end is automation. By using automation, your warehouse can update receivers when a label is created, items ship, and when they’re expected to be received.
Weighing and organizing shipments can help improve the flow of shipments out of the warehouse by ensuring that your shipper is confident in the work that needs to be done. You can also lower the cost to ship when you adjust the ways that you prep shipments depending on the weight. For example, sending heavier shipments all at once or balancing orders so that everything stays on time.
TopShelf from Scout is the warehouse and inventory management tool that you need to help improve your warehouse processes. Without a tool in place that can help you improve efficiencies and keep all of your processes moving more smoothly. TopShelf incorporates state-of-the-art technology with cloud servicing so that you can access the program from any smart device on the go or throughout your warehouse.
Don’t lose track of another product, shipment, or order. Instead, choose topShelf from Scout to help keep your warehouse running smoothly and provide the tools you need for a more successful and profitable warehouse. Reach out to us today for a free demo!