Managing warehouse fulfillment requires handling labor, freight, and inventory; three pieces with numerous factors. Properly managing, storing, and shipping goods is important not just for organizational reasons, but for profiting purposes as well. Any method that can improve your warehouse’s productivity or efficiency benefits the people that ship to you and those that you ship out to. Consider these methods when looking for ways to improve warehouse fulfillment productivity.
Warehouse fulfillment involves a great deal of manpower. Storing and retrieving products and pick-and-pack services are going to be large parts of your business. As a result, productivity can be improved by finding ways to spur and motivate employees. Plans for incentive pay or reward systems, especially in pick-and-pack areas, can help encourage more activity and better workflows.
One of the issues longstanding businesses have is that over time, the procedures learned upon first being hired will change. Steps get added or removed, functions shift, and sometimes things are eliminated entirely. This is a natural part of business growth. But it means that the formal process ends up as a jumbled mix of ad hoc and standard procedures. It can be beneficial to step back to untangle things and sit down to work out a proper, smooth, standard set of procedures that reflects how your warehouse works in the present day. Having a set of standard procedures for all aspects of your operation also saves time and reduces the risk of errors.
Warehouses are big. As your business grows, they will only get bigger. However, expanding the footprint of your warehouse is not the only way to improve your available space. For instance, taller storage units can allow you to leverage any vertical space your warehouse offers. Alternatively (or in addition), different types of shelving can make things run more smoothly. Pallet racks may be good for medium to large-sized products, but if you store small items on them you will only waste space and find it easier to misplace them. Making sure your shelving and stocking methods match the variety of what you house is a good way to improve efficiency and maximize how much of your warehouse can be used.
Get the Metrics
You can’t improve something you don’t know how to measure. Look at what is important to you as a manager, your customers, and your shareholders (if any). Find a way to measure that element. Take special note of what circumstances or activities can result in variance, then work to reduce and eliminate them. Possible examples could include delays due to weather, periods you find yourself short-handed, or times of excess demand that stretch resources more than normal. Consider ways to even out these spikes and drops and you will end up with a smooth and steady stream of production.
APS Fulfillment Inc. is a specialist in direct-mail marketing and warehouse fulfillment and is based in Miami, Florida. We’ve stored, sorted, and delivered products of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies and are more than prepared for the exciting challenges waiting in the new year. Contact us by phone at 954-582-7450 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more ways third-party warehousing and fulfillment services can support and grow your business.