If you want your business to continue its profitable path, you need to run your warehouse effectively. You want a warehouse where costs are kept to a minimum, but the working environment is also safe for your employees, and things are done in an efficient manner so your clients and customers are happy with the service they're provided with.
We've come up with a series of key tips on how best to reduce warehouse costs without the level of quality dipping in the slightest. They're sure to be of great use for your business.
1. Optimise your storage
A large warehouse that is poorly arranged is a waste of time and money for your company. Unneeded space costs you extra in terms of rent, electricity and running costs, as well as reduces the efficiency of your staff members. Utilising a smaller space effectively is the perfect way of cutting costs with no detrimental effect to your employees or your customers. Instead, your employees will be pleased to have to deal with less hassle and your customers will benefit from speedier service.
Ensure that aisles are correctly organised so that frequently used products are easiest to obtain. Make sure that such areas are easily navigated by vehicles and workers so that they can be loaded onto a truck for distribution fast.
2. Store your inventory carefully
In any business, losses are easily occurred by poor management of inventory. Unintentional damages or losses are most frequently caused by a poorly designed warehouse. Avoid this by using proper packaging and storage procedures. Educate and train your staff regularly in terms of the best ways to pack and store products, so that they're easily retrieved as well as safely stored.
If your business is big enough, use a database system to track products at all times via a labelling and scanning system.
3. Invest in technology
A dedicated warehouse management database system is a huge advantage, but there are other technological advances you can implement in the workplace. A voice-directed picking system can streamline your warehouse processes, ensuring your staff work harder with fewer mistakes committed. Investing in an advanced inventory optimisation
solution helps you automate your inventory forecasting and procurement processes, reducing time and costs while improving accuracy. Technology is ideal for helping you work out the best way of speeding up picking processes, thereby saving you undue labour costs.
4. Use cross-docking when needed
Cross-docking is the term used for transferring products directly from the supplier to the customer. Implement a cross-docking terminal in which incoming goods can be unloaded before immediately being transferred to an outbound vehicle. It's a great time saver and far better than having stock languishing to the sides, wasting money and effort for your business.
5. Train your staff effectively
Well trained staff are a huge benefit to productivity and keeping costs down. You can't pay your employees less, of course, but by training them better, they'll work harder, thereby saving you time and money by needing to hire more workers to do one person's job.
There's also the positive benefit of having more content staff, as experienced members are more likely to stay in their current role. That saves you from needing to recruit at unwanted times.
6. Implement energy reduction measures
Your energy costs such as electricity bills are a significant form of expenditure for your business. They're also easily reduced if you plan ahead. Install windows wherever possible in order to obtain as much natural light as possible, saving you the need for lighting at all times of day. Windows can also help with providing more natural heat during the winter months too.
If extra windows are not possible, purchase an automatic lighting system so that lights only come on as and when needed. It's better for the environment, plus it saves you money on fuel costs.
Save water by installing automatic flush low flow toilets and hands-free faucets. Every little counts.
7. Use your equipment wisely
It's important to have the right equipment for the task. You can often use each piece of equipment for more than one task in the warehouse, so don't feel the need to run separate types of cranes if you don't need to. Plan accordingly.
Ensure your equipment is well maintained by drawing up a schedule that your staff or contractors keep to regularly. Well serviced equipment is much less prone to problems. It's also safer for your staff.
Not sure what equipment to purchase? Get in touch
with us at Blue Trolley and we will be happy to advise. The correct equipment is a worthwhile investment, saving you money in the long term.