How to Eliminate Inefficiencies in Warehouse Operations

Inefficient warehouse operations lead to poor customer service, stymied growth of your company, and lost profits. But employing warehouse management software can help shore-up these inefficiencies. Picking the right solution can reduce the cost of transportation, material handling and order fulfillment, while also improving your customer service.

Warehouse Operations and the Picking Burden

One of the costliest processes in warehouse operations is picking orders, which can represent 60-70 percent of overall labor hours in the warehouse. Companies with the most efficient warehouses have their most popular stock items placed closest to the packaging/shipping area. Warehouse layout is an important aspect of increasing efficiencies. Warehouses that manually check stock are wasting staff resources and have potential for error. In a manual situation, a picker has to check against an order to determine what the item is and how many need to be picked; the order then has to be re-checked once it makes it to packaging. Warehouse operations that have embraced technology can reduce errors and man-hours on picking orders. For example, handheld barcode scanners and voice picking features of a software solution can be extremely helpful in warehouse operations.

Transportation Issues in Warehouse Operations

Transportation is also a costly factor in warehouse operations. Companies with poor packaging make inefficient use of warehouse space, which also leads to increased shipping costs. Aside from physical space constraints, software can help in the logistics of transportation in warehouse operations. Companies using phone and fax to route their transportation are likely to see great improvements when they move to an automated solution. Electronic data processing used in warehouse operations software can help streamline your transportation services by building multi-stop truckloads, improving delivery times, and establishing a system for tracking your inventory.

Keeping Good Customer Service in Warehouse Operations

Customers expect a lot more than they used to, and although technology is partly to blame, it can also be the solution. One survey regarding warehouse operations put insufficient warehouse technology as the leading cause of inefficiencies in warehouse operations. Embracing a software solution that helps you make shipments on time, pick the right orders, increase order level and line-item fill rates, and stay on top of your dock-to-stock cycles can all contribute to getting orders to customers in a timely fashion.

Optimize Inventory in Warehouse Operations

Having control of your inventory is crucial. Many warehouses have pockets of inventory that go untouched due to a lack of inventory visibility. The lack of visibility can also lead to identical items being stored in more than one location. Warehouse operations can benefit from software that tracks inventory from receiving to shipping to reduce redundancies. This can enforce task completion and give real-time updates on your inventory, which will give you a better idea of what’s moving and what isn’t. Inventory that isn’t properly accounted for can sit in a receiving dock, congesting the facility and causing lost productivity. The proper inventory management software will allow all the information one needs about the inventory to be entered into the system when it first arrives. Warehouse management software can give you the logistics to act quickly on orders with greater accuracy.

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