Meeting rising demands and growth in your company often questions the efﬁciency of your warehouse. From managing deliveries and fulﬁlment to keeping up with changing product lines, the requirement for speedy ordering to delivery is forcing developments in every warehouse operation.
Order fulﬁllment, in particular, plays a signiﬁcant role in cultivating your brand’s reputation and can differentiate you from your competitors. If a customer’s order isn’t packed correctly, the warehouse could damage your customer’s experience. Delivering accurately and in a timely manner requires careful managing of staff, inventory, shipping and tracking to ensure order requests are met correctly. As your company grows, your warehouse needs to grow, develop, bend and flex. To remain in sync with your company’s growth, various areas of improvements can be made:
If there are constraints in expanding your warehouse, consider better use of vertical space. Adding taller units and the correct equipment to pick and store material can help you keep more in the same square footage rather than expand. In addition, think about the type and variety of shelving used. Storing small items on pallet racks wastes space, and makes it easy to misplace items. Rather than using the same racks throughout your warehouse, you may need various types of shelving for different materials. Also, try using bins to help keep areas neat and tidy.
Adopting a lean inventory for your warehouse is as important as it is in manufacturing. The basic premise of “lean” is using only what you need – so reduce stock levels and ask suppliers to deliver smaller quantities and more frequently.
A warehouse management system can improve efficiency by suggesting the best routes and methods for picking or putting away. In addition, the system provides automated pick lists that can be sent to mobile devices to help eliminate mistakes. Using barcode or radio frequency identification readers can improve the accuracy of transactions and reduce picking errors.
If your management system is not giving efficient picking processes, manual ones can be created. Reviewing your packaging usage and storage, as well as re-siting fastest moving items into one area of your warehouse eliminates wasted time travelling to and from different parts of the warehouse.
A contract packing company should follow these strategies carefully, while continuously reviewing, developing and improving their processes. While using a third party is becoming an increasingly more popular strategy, they should still adhere to the same processes as if it were the customer’s warehouse.
The primary driver to outsourcing continues to be cost – Cannon Packing and Logistics already has the expertise, resource and staff in place, which means that you can continue to grow your business without further investment in your warehouse operations.