Warehouse and Inventory management are critical for supply chain success. Yet, these areas are often ignored and are not considered to be vital. Therefore leading to incorrect levels of inventory, delays, losses and poor customer service. Warehousing efficiency and productivity contribute to the overall success of any business. It does not only impact the success of the actual warehouse but it also leads to the success of the customers trusting on the warehouse for storage and order fulfillment.
One way to maximize warehouse productivity levels is to have the proper training strategies in place. For instance: opting for modern training solutions such as e-learning can greatly benefit your team. With Supply Chain Academy, organizations have the possibility to create their own internal supply chain academies to up-skill their employees through innovative training solutions such as scenario-based online training. This can be of great help for warehouse employees since such interactive courses allow them to witness real job situations which prepares them to face any challenges in their jobs. Such training proves to be highly engaging, allowing employees to actively apply what they are learning to their day-to-day tasks.
Here are other best practices to ensure warehouse success:
Train your Employees to Cover Multiple Areas
It is important to note that the most productive workers in a warehouse are the ones that can adapt to nearly any task they’re asked to do. The key is not to limit your employees to working in only one area of the warehouse. Cross-training your warehouse workers to handle a wide range of services can benefit your business to a great extent. This can be an advantage for high-demand shopping seasons where most of your staff are new and minimally trained. Hence, there will be no hassles if one of them calls in sick since your cross-trained employees will be able to take the lead.
Emphasize the Importance of Safety
Safety holds a key importance in any warehouse. It is critical to train your employees on safety protocols regularly to reduce accidents and keep everyone as happy and healthy as possible. Address a safety concern as early as possible so it does not become a hazard later on. This comprises of frequent equipment inspections to ensure your forklifts, conveyor belts, vehicles and more are all operating like they’re supposed to.
Organize the Warehouse for Maximum Efficiency
One thing to take into account is that successful warehousing requires constant re-organization. For instance: high-demand products should be easy to access so pickers can fulfill orders rapidly. It is essential that the inventory management system is updated in real time to reflect changes made in product placement and availability. One way to make the task more efficient is by asking your employees what organization techniques you could implement to make their jobs easier, and find ways to meet their needs.
Learn more skills from Effective Team Leaders
Warehouses are often set up in crews and you may notice that some crews perform better than others. It is wise to analyze what the team leaders in those groups are doing that makes them so successful. Learn about what is driving their productivity levels and understand how their success can be transferred to other crews and other leaders. In fact, the more adaptive you can be as a unit, the more your warehouse will thrive.
Boost Your Teams and Maintain a High Morale
As the saying goes: Happy workers are better workers. Making your team members feel respected and supported will allow them to work more efficiently. Take the time to reward performing staff with time off or special prizes that are worth putting in the extra effort for. For instance: a simple employee of the month contest is a good start but it’s an even better start if the winner gets a gift card or a voucher. Note that whatever money you spend on prizes will quickly be returned in productivity.
Distinguish When Your Employees have overworked
Overworked employees are not productive and may leave mistakes in their tasks. Therefore, it is important to consider this when you start making the schedule for the month or when someone requests extra overtime. Consider if the person can realistically handle the pressure and put in a good day of work. However, if he or she seems tired and physically drained, recommend taking a day or two off to reboot.
Combine other Services Used in Addition to Order Fulfillment
It is a good idea to store your products in the same warehouse that is processing the orders for you. In this way, everything is easily available to the pickers and packers that are conducting the fulfillment. Besides, it is a good way to reduce costs by combining these services because the products do not have to change hands as much. Additionally, this also reduces the risk of human error and makes it easier for you to keep track of your shipments.
Ensuring warehouse success depends on various factors. Opting for effective training strategies can go a long way in making sure that your warehouse is working as it should. Business leaders need to understand that competent employees are the key to maintain proper warehouse operations and therefore the main focus should be on improving employees’ skills. Ultimately, warehouse productivity leads to reduced costs and competitive advantage.