Good management is the fundamental organising principle that will allow you to run an efficient warehouse. Simple tricks such as taking advantage of the vertical space, prioritising the placement of goods, reshuffling stock according to demand, eliminating obstacles and slow points, and other organisational issues all factor into efficient management. In that sense, staying on top of your warehouse organisation should prevent unnecessary spending on logistics. Hence, it is helpful to recognise the five most common warehouse management mistakes to maximise your output and keep everything functioning smoothly.
Not assessing and developing your warehouse as the workload grows
As your warehouse business develops, constant reanalysis of its organisation allows you to improve your productivity. This means you should pay attention to strategies that can help you improve your warehouse infrastructure. For instance, expanding your warehouse to separate shipping and receiving sections is a good organisational practice. Bottlenecks and crowdedness give way to mistakes and inefficiency, so definitely avoid this.
Essentially, you want to organise your warehouse in the most logical way possible to minimise mistakes made by your employees. For this reason, frequent and logical updates in terms of the layout and positioning of cargo should help evolve your warehouse business.
Not practising routine and expert pallet rack inspections
Whether you manage one warehouse or a complex of distribution centres, your racking organisation has to be top-notch. In the UK, management has to ensure safety in the workplace, and improper racking can quickly give way to workplace hazards. Since you do not want to lose time and money for compensating injured workers, you should keep your racking organised and easily accessible.
Apart from stacking and organisation, it is also necessary to display the inventory and load capacity of your racking. This means that any changes to the content of the pallet rack have to be noted down and labelled accordingly. For instance, any adjustments to the beam placement or height have to be monitored by trained staff or a rack engineer before it is used for stacking.
So, make sure you assess the load capacity and configuration of the racking regularly. They will also be able to locate potential weak points or damages before they occur. Ignoring or neglecting such issues could be pretty problematic - one oversight can lead to sizable damage or slowdown of your warehouse workflow. Therefore, ensure that the pallet racks are examined, protected, and repaired frequently. To prevent a collapse, it should be done at least once a month by warehouse staff and once a year by certified third-party racking professionals or engineers.
As we have briefly mentioned, taking inventory of the goods entering and leaving the warehouse is vital for good management. Yes, it can be challenging and time-consuming to do it manually, but make sure you do not skip this step. Once you develop your warehouse, you might consider automatising this process for maximum warehouse efficiency. So, even if your inventory record is correct 99% of the time, you should never neglect this stage. The more detailed the inventory is, the better you will control and manage the storage and shipment processes.
Another important factor that negatively influences inventory management is an excess waste. It is necessary to eliminate any excess stock that might be piling up in the remote corners of our warehouse. Even if it might not seem like a big deal, holding onto unneeded goods is highly inefficient. Soon enough, parts of your warehouse might fall into neglect, so definitely avoid stockpiling goods and holding on to packaging waste.
Not investing in employee training and development
Although racking and inventory management are critical components of warehouse organisation, having well-trained, efficient employees is just as important. Not devoting enough time and resources to adequate training of your workers may result in huge losses. Quality training sessions, feedback, and briefing all keep your warehouse safe, well-organised, and functional.
Furthermore, you will also improve worker satisfaction if they feel they can rely on you and their training to do the job. Finding new workers because most of your staff quits in a couple of weeks won’t just inhibit the speed and accuracy of your warehouse processes but also cost you a lot in terms of training and recruitment costs.
Furthermore, it is also helpful to hire external help if your employees cannot handle a specific task. For instance, you might seek out the help of a removals company like Britmove Removals UK to transport your pallets, racking, and goods that require expert packing and disassembling. Essentially, it is easier to hire a professional to handle the relocation of your warehouse than to force your unskilled workers to do so.
Not introducing automation happens to be one of the most common warehouse management mistakes
As any experienced warehouse manager will confirm, managing inventory is much easier when it is automated. Doing physical inventory manually slows down stacking, packing, and shipping processes. What’s more, it may even result in several filing mistakes, lost documentation, and missing stock - you name it.
Nowadays, you can rely on advanced warehouse management software to eliminate inventory and filing mistakes for good. You can choose one that suits your warehouse needs, budget, and size. This will allow you to reduce human error in your warehouse. And it is not just bookkeeping and inventory you can automatise. You can also streamline your shipment processes with the help of technology such as barcode software for order pickers. So, make sure you invest in automation to avoid making common warehouse management mistakes. We know this seems like quite an investment at the present moment. However, it’s an investment that will have a great impact on the future of your warehouse and its efficiency.