17 April 2018

Lessons to Learn from Warehouse Mistakes

All warehouses are unique. So the operations within each warehouse are dependent on the nature of the supply chain and the warehouse itself. By paying attention to your warehouse management you will make sure that your warehouse is running as cost-effectively as possible. Below is listed the top 7 warehouse mistakes and the suggested corrective actions.

Top 10 Warehouse Mistakes

1. Lack of Operational Health & Safety (OH&S)

With so much danger in the warehouse, it is easy for anything to go wrong. Ranging from heavy machinery to pallet racking can be a hazard to all those in the warehouse. Safety is often the first thing to be neglected when the warehouse is busy. Therefore making it one of the main warehouse mistakes.

It is important to have regular training sessions for staff on OH&S. Show your employees how to spot not only the obvious dangers but also the hidden hazards. This will, in turn, save your business money and employees from injury.

2. Holding onto Paperwork

Often in small businesses and small warehouses, there isn't as much of a demand to use the latest technology. The perception often is that it is more simple and easy to keep up with the paper methods in the warehouse. One of the many warehouse mistakes. Although this may be the case initially there are many disadvantages to this. In the long term, paperwork can result in delays in picking and processing orders. As well as, lost documents and files and even missing stock.

Warehouse Management Systems don't have to be expensive or complicated to make your operations operate more efficiently. There are plenty of options available for any sized warehouse as a means to provide a lean structure in your warehouse. Through the disposal of paperwork in your warehouse, it will ensure that it is running more cost-effectively and in such a way that is good for the environment.
Warehouse Paperwork

3. No Staff Development

A major warehouse mistake is not conducting or engaging in regular staff training and development sessions for those working in the warehouse. Given the nature of a warehouse being high risk, it becomes the employer's responsibility to keep your staff safe. Training and development sessions are often put to the last item on a list. Especially when the warehouse is busy or budget constraints.

The cost to replace staff is significantly higher than retaining employees in the first place by keeping them motivated. Through training and development sessions for your warehouse staff, it is an important factor to the safety in your warehouse. A possible solution is the hiring of temporary staff to cover the staff absent during training sessions.
Staff Training & Development

4. Unoptimised Pick Paths

It is not possible to have a clear and straightforward picking route that works for every order. But by establishing picking routes that are efficient will have a significant effect on the picking times. Picking times may not seem important. Although it is costing your business more in labour for that extra time spent picking over time.

It's a good idea to put a lot of thought into the warehouse design. Also in the working out of the best picking routes when setting up a new warehouse. With a warehouse up and running you should be constantly assessing ways to improve. Ideally, the pickers should be collecting goods to dispatch in an area nearby to the dispatch zone.
Picking Times

5. Lack of Housekeeping

It is not uncommon for warehouse cleaning and maintenance to be at the end of a task list for most operations managers. There are many signals of an unkempt warehouse these include messy aisles and dispatch zones as well as unused items lying around. Through lack of housekeeping in the warehouse, is a safety hazard to staff and also impacts efficiency rates. This is due to the fact that staff and machines have to manoeuvre around the obstructions.

In order to keep on top of an unkempt warehouse, time should be assigned specifically to tidy up the warehouse. This way it becomes routine. The best times for a tidy up is at the conclusion of a shift. Then the next shift can start in an organised way.
Warehouse Housekeeping

6. Measuring KPI's Incorrectly

Most warehouses today have an established form of a performance review conducted on the efficiency of the operations. Although most companies are measuring some forms of KPI's not all are correctly measuring how their operations are performing.

It is important that all KPI's are clearly set out for all staff members so as to improve warehouse performance. Some common warehouse KPI's include the time taken to unload a truck and the time taken from receiving goods until they are put away.

7. Excess Stock in the Warehouse

When large quantities of stock are purchased from a supplier it is often the result of a bulk discount that has been offered. Often leading to a large amount of stock that is difficult to sell.

Through the reduction of stock levels, it gives a lean warehouse and has less money tied up as stock. In turn giving an improved cash flow. It is important that all bulk discounts offered are thoroughly considered. Make sure it is worthwhile having the extra stock and the possibility of it not being saleable.
There are many common warehouse mistakes. How many of them are you doing currently? In fixing the warehouse mistakes in your warehouse you will run a more efficient and effective warehouse.

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