The number of private warehouses in the United States has increased from 15,763 to 18,182 since 2013. That’s a rise of more than 15.3 per cent. During the same period, the move towards smaller warehouses has been on the rise.
The transition towards small warehouses means that companies need to use their spaces more efficiently to accommodate more inventory. But running a well-organized is easier said than done. If you’ve been looking to increase the functionality of your small warehouse, there are several things that you need to have in the facility.
In this article, we tell you the nine top things that make a proficient warehouse. Read on to learn more.
The Right Equipment
An efficient warehouse requires an ample amount of warehouse machines to keep operations running smoothly in the facility. Start by making a comprehensive list of equipment, so you don’t miss anything. Given that equipment takes a significant part of your business’ budget, it’s critical that you plan early enough.
Of course, you can start by acquiring the essential equipment first, such as the storage equipment. With time you can acquire more equipment.
Properly Trained Staff
Having qualified staff increases safety in a potentially hazardous work environment. It also enhances efficiency in the warehouse and simplifies your job as a manager. Take the time to train your staff to ensure that your warehouse runs as smoothly and correctly as possible.
Most of your employees may be able to stock your shelves, but not all of them will follow the correct protocol at all times. When you notice any incorrect employee behavior, deal with it right away, so improper handling does not become the norm on the floor of your warehouse.
The Right Design for Small Warehouses
Given that the amount of space in your small warehouse is limited, it is essential that you adopt the right design to make sure that operations run without a hitch. The racking system needs to be well-designed to handle your inventory, while refrigeration systems should be prioritized if you store cold food.
Make sure that you have the right flooring as well, so your workers have an easy time working in the warehouse. You may want to consider The Concrete Makeover warehouse flooring to achieve this.
Most warehouses often combine heavy equipment such as warehouse lifting equipment with large products. Add these to slippery floors and quick import and export times, and the atmosphere can prove quite dangerous for the employees.
To keep employees safe, it’s important to have thorough safety training in place, especially for new members of staff. Don’t forget to test the knowledge of your staff’s safety protocol as soon as they’ve finished training.
Be sure to have a practical emergency protocol too. You always need to stay ready in case an accident or some other emergency happens. In case there’s a mechanical accident, a flood, fire or any other disaster, it’s crucial to have a plan that ensures that everyone is safe.
Round the Clock Security
Most warehouses store a lot of expensive merchandise and machinery and can be a target for criminals. Once you have a well-equipped warehouse, it’s essential that you invest in tight security round the clock to keep cases of theft at a minimum. Surveillance cameras are just some of the safety equipment that you can consider installing in the key areas of your warehouse.
An Efficient Receiving and Picking Process
When materials arrive at your warehouse, it’s important that there’s personnel to inspect and verify them immediately. Make sure that your staff has the necessary training to spot any shortages or damaged products when they arrive at your warehouse. The receiving process also includes moving the product to the correct storage space as quickly as possible.
The time spent picking orders is an indication of whether you have an efficient warehouse. To save on time and resources, come up with a pick list. If you receive and ship large quantities of products, organize the lists in such a way that pickers work from one location to the next, hence avoiding the constant back-and-forth movements.
Once a product has reached the shipping location, it needs to be verified before your staff can pack and process it. Given that your packers do not have all the time to double-check every item, it’s paramount that any problems are identified instantly, so the products are taken back to the appropriate location right away.
As a manager, you should avoid a large section of damaged or incorrect products to pile up in your warehouse. Doing so only clutters your space and will create shortages on the next orders that your workers are processing.
The Appropriate Software
In today’s highly digitalized world, every warehouse needs to embrace technology. One way to do that is by adopting software that can help make operations in your warehouse as efficient as possible. There are numerous software solutions in the market that can help you when it comes to warehouse management and material handling.
Currently, there are countless programs that simplify inventory control, shipping, equipment maintenance, labor, and much more. Take your time to find a program that provides the best solutions for your needs.
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