Managing a warehouse and ensuring it functions to its maximum potential is no mean feat. There are so many aspects to consider that it can be hard to ensure that it’s running as well as it should.
The more efficient your operations are, the more productive your business should become. It can also lead to a higher volume of sales and an increase in revenue, which should help set you on the path to continued success.
If you feel that improvements may help your existing warehouse setup, then read on. Here are 4 great ways to improve warehouse productivity.
#1. Performance targets
Setting targets for your workforce is a common and effective way to promote hard work and better results. Although your employees should be performing well regardless, offering a monetary incentive or similar gesture can help to boost productivity. You may, for example, choose to formulate some form of reward for a clean accident record during a specified period or set targets in relation to picking times or fulfilling a certain number of orders per day.
Employees who feel appreciated and know that their efforts are recognized are more likely to work harder. Give praise where it’s due and rewards when viable to do so, and you may see a remarkable upturn in performance.
#2. Warehouse configuration
It’s a good idea to periodically look at your existing setup and establish whether changes are necessary to help boost productivity. It may be that your loading dock design needs to be reconfigured to more efficiently deal with the volumes of traffic encountered daily. Perhaps you need to consider using automated picking systems during busier times of the year to help cope with the sheer volume of orders.
One of the best ways to establish if changes are required is to talk to your workforce. The guys on the ground should be in a position to tell you any ongoing issues that are causing concern or if they feel any systems or current methods need to be modified. Improving your warehouse configuration should increase efficiency and make your employees a lot happier too.
#3. Learn from previous mistakes
Most businesses hit bumps in the road at one time or another, and it’s wise to use these to your advantage and learn from your mistakes. Maintain records of any issues that arise, find out what happened and why, and update your policies and procedures to stop them from happening again.
#4. Health and safety
Accidents and injuries happen regularly in a warehouse setting and may stop productivity in its tracks. So, you must do what you can to ensure that your health and safety policies are watertight and adhered to by all employees.
For example, check that your teams are using personal protection equipment (PPE) where necessary, ensure that any upper-level walkways have suitable fall protection systems in place, and make staff training a priority.
The more incidents that occur, the less efficient your operation will be, so stay focussed, stay safe, and it should help your warehouse run like clockwork.