Entrepreneurs, executives, and business owner have busy schedules so you’ll rarely find them behind the scene, i.e. in the warehouse. This is the segment of each business that most often gets overlooked at. However, grab a pen and paper, and you will realize how much you can save if your warehouse ran more efficiently. Modern technologies are taking over the storage industry and you have to keep up. Having human workers cooperate with robots is a win-win combo that will ensure your warehouse operations run smoothly and safely.
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Improving the Layout
Whether you own or rent a warehouse, the good thing about is that you can rearrange it all you want. While experimenting, be sure to implement the best possible floor layout. Firstly, there is no need for the receiving dock and the shipping loading bay to be connected. Quite the contrary, there should ideally be a wall separating them.
They should both connect to the storage section, the largest room in a given warehouse. It is additionally connected with the packaging sector and the main office. Such a layout not only speeds things a lot but it increases safety as machines and workers work wide apart.
Maximizing Vertical Space
One of the biggest advantages of a typical warehouse is its size. However, due to bad management, this storage potential is often untapped to. The shelves end several meters before the ceiling so a lot of vertical space is left unused. This could change and you can increase up to 25% more storage space if you elongated the racks and the shelves to reach the roof of the structure. If you are worried about how you will reach these high places, don’t overthink it, instead of a worker climbing a wobbly ladder, opt to use forklifts.
The Benefits of Using a Forklift
Even since they entered mass use during the previous century, forklifts have become a household word in the storage industry. No matter how complex automated delivery systems are, using a forklift to get a pallet high up is still the standard procedure.
Now, forklifts do not run on water so you still need to find a way to make them efficient and sustainable. Hiring forklifts from companies such as MLA Holdings can help you cut down on operational costs. You get the most modern equipment for a reasonable price. If you lack money for large investments in the warehouse operations, then leasing and hiring equipment is a reasonable solution.
The Importance of Labels
We have all had the awkward situation in which we’re mistake sugar for salt or the other way around. The reason behind this mistake was probably poor labeling. If you can destroy your morning coffee with salt, imagine what can a lack of labeling do to warehouse operations. All the storage areas and individual boxes should have label what is contained inside them. This way, you will prevent countless mix-ups that will subsequently cost you extra. Another good reason to label everything is the workforce that is constantly fluctuating. New blue-collars on the floor need to learn fast where everything is stored.
Going Through the Stats
A neat strategy to speed things up in the warehouse is to analyze your sales. Look at the stats from the point of view of warehouse workers and machines. Which lines of products were most sought after? These products should be placed nearest to conveyor belts and forklifts so it can easily get to the shipping bay. Other items that don’t sell that well should go in the back and they can even be fetched manually if you sell only two or three pieces a year.
Needless to say, you need to take care of the workers’ safety. With all the conveyors, forklifts, and machines buzzing by, their working environment is perilous. When an injury occurs, then you can expect a lawsuit, which is a bad thing in which both parties lose something. That is why investing early on in protective gear will save you thousands of dollars and you’re employees won’t require a trip to the infirmary. Also, place rail guards at the corners of tall shelves in order for forklift not to run into them and knock them over.
Warehouse efficiency is not rocket science. Observe all the processes and actively seek ways to improve them. If you need additional tips, then head to the warehouse floor to have a chat with the workers because they know best what would make their lives easier.