When it comes to measures for making our warehouse operations more efficient and profitable, the organization is right at the top of the list.
Making your warehouse more organized is, of course, easier said than done. But the payoff is substantial. Not only will a more organized workplace lead to greater worker productivity, it will also help your bottom line.
So what practical steps can you take to transform your warehouse so it runs in a more efficient and effective fashion?
There are many steps you can take, so to help you out, we’ve narrowed down 7 of the best ways to make your warehouse more organized.
Try them out for yourself, and let us know in the comments below what impact you noticed! So without further ado, here’s what we recommend you start doing today:
1. Conduct an organizational audit of your warehouse
Let’s start off with something that you probably have thought many times about doing, but haven’t yet gotten around to conducting an organizational audit of your warehouse.
There’s no getting around the fact that conducting an audit of everything from the efficiency of your warehouse operations to the layout of your warehouse is a huge undertaking.
However, if you’re serious about taking positive steps to make your warehouse more organized, you need to start by fixing the existing fundamental organizational problems which plague your warehouse.
2. Consider investing in new technology
We now live in an age where there’s a technological solution to every problem we face.
The warehouse industry has particularly benefited from technological advances. With all the assortment of gadgets and tools to make our jobs easier and help our warehouses run smoother.
The difficult part is choosing which technologies are worth investing in. With limited budgets, it’s important that you do your research and work out which ones will be most conducive to making your warehouse more organized.
Some ideas of useful technologies which could substantially boost productivity in your warehouse. These include dimensioning systems for measuring boxes and pallets. And put those dimensions into a receipt or mobile tech such as wearable barcode scanners.
3. Improve your warehouse order picking accuracy
The effectiveness of your warehouse’s order picking processes has a huge impact on the overall organization of your warehouse.
If your order picking processes are optimized for maximum output and accuracy, you can complete tasks in a more streamlined way that saves both time and money. For this reason, it is essential that warehouses follow best practices aimed at improving the efficiency and accuracy of order picking processes.
The good news is that there is no shortage of measures to boost your warehouse order picking accuracy.
Some key ways include: analyzing product velocity, organizing inventory strategically, establishing picking routes, maintaining accurate inventory data, analyzing error data, and using new tools and technology to automate as much as possible.
4. Keep your warehouse clean
Keeping your warehouse clean is a key way of making your warehouse more organized.
Think about it: if your workplace is a mess, how can you expect your employees to work to their full potential?
No one can work to their best ability if they’re constantly faced with problems related to uncleanliness and disorganization. That’s not to mention the fact that an unclean warehouse puts your workers at greater risk of injuries and accidents.
You can start to make your warehouse cleaner by communicating to your employees that they should be responsible for cleaning up the messes they create.
If everyone does their part in ensuring that their work area is clean, it will go a long way in changing the way your employees think about their work environment.
5. Use warehouse labels
When we’re too focused on the big picture, we often forget that sometimes the smallest fixes have the biggest impact. This is certainly the case with the humble warehouse label.
By making it easier for your employees to locate particular areas and items, warehouse labels are a simple, but highly effective way to add an additional layer of organization to your warehouse.
So what labels should you use?
It depends on the particular needs of your warehouse, but whatever they are, you can be assured there’s a label for it!
For example, commonly-used labels for warehouses include rack labels, retro-reflective labels, hanging signs, and floor labels.
And if you’re wondering if you can go the DIY route and make the labels yourself, the answer is, you could, but it’s not recommended. Purchasing your warehouse labels from a reliable warehouse label manufacturer will ensure that they are state-of-the-art, last the test of time, and are cost-effective.
6. Implement proper onboarding procedures for new employees
Adding a new employee into the mix who hasn’t been briefed properly about their responsibilities, let alone the unique procedures and policies of your warehouse is a surefire way to create disarray in your workplace.
However, it happens all too often. Warehouse managers can get so caught up in their own work. Hence, manage their existing employees, that they put off (or completely forget!) to give new hires a proper onboarding.
If this sounds like you, be sure that the next time a new employee joins your team, you give them all of the information and training they need to effectively complete their work.
This will save them from having to disturb other team members to answer simple questions like, “How do you make a record of X?” and “Where is Y found?”
7. Make sure your temporary workers are accounted for
While we’re talking about proper onboarding procedures, don’t forget about your temporary workers, either!
It’s a common occurrence that they are thrown into the deep end and expected to know all that they need to know about how a particular warehouse operates.
Of course, this isn’t reasonable – particularly for workers who have visited tens to hundreds of different warehouse – each with their own unique procedures.
In order to support your temporary workers to be as organized as possible, make sure they know exactly how things work around your warehouse. Let them know that your door is always open if they have any questions.