Warehouses are significantly helpful to many businesses. Many companies have their own warehouse to store stock and handle shipping. A warehouse can even be a business in itself if you supply other companies, or manage stock for them. You could also expand to offer logistics.
Warehouse operations can be hard to manage, especially as your business grows. Many organisational and safety concerns come with running one. Here are some tips for making your warehouse more efficient.
When you send out goods, you’ll need to be able to find them and pack them quickly. Therefore, an efficient storage system is essential.
Look into industrial shelving systems and use one that best suits your products. Those handling heavier goods will need sturdier shelving. If you’re handling smaller products, something more compact can help you get to them more easily.
Lay out your warehouse in a way that makes everything easy to find. You may want to organise products in alphabetical order or use ID numbers. Also, ensure that whenever a delivery goes in or out, the goods are checked and accounted for immediately. Have your loading bay staff tick off invoice sheets to make sure all the stock is there.
Speed up the picking and packing process
The picking and packing process can take a long time if not organised well. Make it as easy as possible for your workers. Organization will help your pickers find stock and get it prepared.
Consider that if everything is done manually, it will take much longer. You may want to make use of industrial equipment to speed up the process. For instance, a conveyor belt can help you get stock from pickers to loaders without them running back and forth. Services such as Conveyor Systems Ltd can install these for warehouses.
Make sure the packing department has all the supplies they need at hand. Assembled storage boxes, plenty of tape, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts being close by will help them work faster.
Take care of health and safety
A focus on health and safety is vital in a warehouse environment. Warehouses are considered a high-risk work environment. Workers will have to deal with heavy objects and manual work a lot. Staff are often vulnerable to many common workplace injuries.
A back injury from poor lifting technique or a heavy object breaking someone’s foot can put a worker out for a long time. This poses many financial and legal concerns for your business. If an employee is out, the efficiency of your operations will suffer.
Make sure that anyone who operates specialist equipment such as forklifts has the right training. Also, give all employees general training on things like lifting and proper storage. Make sure your shelves hold stock safely and no trip hazards are left on the floor.
Keep the building well-maintained
As well as being vulnerable to injuries, warehouse buildings can often cause sickness. Large, industrial buildings often suffer from poor ventilation and dust buildup.
These building problems can cause employees headaches and fatigue, making them less productive. You might want to get your building surveyed and install a ventilation system. You’ll also want to keep your warehouse clean to remove dust.