Warehouse operations productivity hinges on 3 coordinated functions: your workforce, your customers and orders, and your inventory. Simple?
Not really. We understand that those three elements lead to multiple functions and interactions in omnichannel warehouse management, and can keep your management teams so busy that growth, optimisation, and improvement is next-to-impossible.
We’ve whittled down the essential functions that must be targeted for a warehouse management update and improvement, simplifying the key areas into 7 steps:
Knowing your business, your industry, your competitors, and the technologies that are prevalent allows you to start bench-marking your warehouse efficiency, productivity and profitability.
Tracking your inbound and outbound freight is critical. You already manage the deliveries and dispatch processes – now get more involved with your suppliers for better inventory accuracy and management.
Negotiate with your suppliers to agree on SLAs, delivery timelines, and compliance elements to ensure a more regular, reliable goods-delivery system. By doing this with your inbound freight, you will be able to do the same with your outbound, with better turnaround within your warehouse.
Increasing visibility and compliance to your delivery processes will also assist your client-service teams in responding to queries, delays, and stock problems more effectively and transparently.
There are two sides to this effort: Simplification for your workforce, and simplification for your customer. The former leads the latter.
Work on improving the ease-of-movement within your warehouse, and the processes followed by your workforce. Simplify both of these contributors to improve efficiency, cost, and productivity.
If you want your business to grow, it is a good idea to start with your staff. While they are not incentivised, your potential for buy-in to any new or simplified process is unlikely.
Offer incentives to staff for improving systems and processes and encourage better performance with well-placed rewards systems.
Budget for training for your warehouse staff, so that you can nurture your top talent and develop warehouse managers who are competent, qualified, and innovative.
Your front-line managers’ abilities to efficiently manage all aspects of fulfillment radically affects your costs, worker morale, and the quality of customer order fulfillment. Consider their needs, understanding of your merchandise, and what training resources are available to you to achieve this.
With improved productivity in your warehouse, thanks to incentives, training, simplification, and consistent measurement and optimisation, you can start tackling your ERP system or Warehouse Management System. Updating, upgrading, or replacing the outdated systems and processes can bring immense improvements to your warehouse management.
Once your measures and benchmarks are in place, it’s a good idea to refer to them on a regular basis, in order to analyse your performance vs industry, competitors, and new technologies.
Follow training, learnerships, and technology developments to keep your workforce ahead of the curve.
Engage with your customers for feedback on your service and improve it where necessary.
See how Tarsus Distribution, in collaboration with SCJ boost overall efficiency by 60%