Today’s business climate is competitive, which is why it is so important for business owners to make their warehouse planning and implementation as efficient as possible to drive growth and profits. This goes beyond research and development to include manufacturing, marketing, distribution, accounting, human resources, and warehouse or distribution management. The following warehouse planning tips can help you become more efficient, so that you can increase your success as your business grows.
Understand Your Objectives
Clearly defined objectives will help you put the right practices in place to help you achieve those goals. To do this, it is best to write down your objectives. Each objective should coincide with your broader business goal to increase profit. However, each objective should be specific enough to help you take immediate action. Some objectives to consider include the following:
- Minimize warehouse operating expenses
- Increase storage space and accessibility
- Maximize available storage and adjust for future growth
- Strive to achieve all objectives with the lowest expense possible in terms of labor and other resources
Outline Existing Operations
Before you begin planning your future movements, you should look back at your current warehouse function. Here are some aspects to include as you review:
- Create a scaled sketch of your warehouse building and floor plan
- Record all the equipment in your warehouse
- Write down all processes and staff responsibilities in each warehouse department
- If you find any discrepancies, share them with your employees and find out what processes they use
- Brainstorm and implement a plan that resolves these discrepancies, so you can be more efficient in the future
Storage and Inventory Requirements
Once you understand everything that is happening in your warehouse, you can look at your stock and inventory needs. You should plan and predict the amount of stock you will need, as well as where you would like to store your inventory. You can organize your items based on material handling and storage traits, or by SKU and product description. As you estimate your inventory needs, consider seasonality and which products are in higher demand. Observe previous data on inventory turnover to make your estimates more accurate.
Develop a Budget and Stick to It
Running a business requires paying attention to many different moving parts. While doing this, it’s easy to make the mistake of not planning a budget or considering previous expenditures and projected expenses. Part of developing a budget includes forecasting. This is critical to planning and must happen before any buying decisions are made. When doing this, it is always recommended to include room for unexpected expenses that may arise.
Identify Weakness and Alternative Solutions
Ask yourself where you can improve your operations. Review your notes for your existing operation and look at critical areas that need improvement. Find the most efficient and practical solutions to any weaknesses that you find in your operations and figure out how to put them into play.
Create a Detailed Plan
Your warehouse plan should encompass all the different factors that create an ideal warehouse or distribution center. Your plan should consider the physical requirements of your warehouse as well as the tasks, milestones, staffing, estimated hours, budget, and deadline.
Evaluate and Update Your Plan Accordingly
Consider any applicable taxes and operation costs when assessing your financial plan. When looking at your qualitative aspects, consider staff safety, how well you adjust to change, how feasible your new plan will be to manage, and the risk of inventory damage it can bring. Once you have made these assessments, it’s time to draft a master strategy for your warehouse. This strategy should include space, staff, equipment, processes, and future plans.
Let APS Fulfillment, Inc. Take Care of It for You
When developing an improved warehouse plan, it’s important to realize that it is a work in progress. You will need to continuously improve, so don’t fret if you find yourself tweaking things as the weeks go by. Ultimately, your plan should be flexible and make room for further optimization and change. To be efficient, you will always need to update your plan.
If you want to improve warehouse planning and reduce your costs, working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can help. These professionals can help you manage your warehouse by taking control of the aspects you have difficulty managing on your own. Through their service, you can focus on building stronger relationships with your customers and on boosting your marketing and sales plan. A 3PL provider will have the manpower, technology, software, and warehouse space to help you scale your business to accommodate seasonality and other unexpected changes.
APS Fulfillment, Inc. can be the right partner for you because we care about our clients’ success. Our professionals will bring you solutions to your fulfillment challenges and will work with you to meet your goals. We provide services such as real-time inventory management, e-commerce fulfillment, fulfilment solutions, and fulfillment markets. There are endless benefits to working with a third-party logistics company that uses the best-quality software systems to manage your warehouse, so if you’re looking for the right company, look no further than APS Fulfillment, Inc. You can contact us by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (954) 582-7450.