Warehouse inefficiency is a massive problem across the board. For many businesses, the focus on the end product leads to vital components of the process being overlooked, and herein lies the issue. When you aren’t looking at the bigger picture, minor problems compound over time, leading to massive mistakes and failures down the line.
For increased productivity and efficiency, you need to step back, stop focusing on the end goal, and start looking at the operation as a whole.
How Effective is Everything?
Before you do anything else, you need to look at how effective your current operations are and what is and isn’t working. From here, you can look for hot spots causing issues, bottlenecks slowing things down, and any breaks or inefficiencies in the chain that are impacting how you run. Then, you can make up plans to rectify things.
Check Your Systems
If you’re guilty of adding in new systems without removing the old ones or ensuring both can co-exist and run seamlessly, chances are you will be experiencing some disruption as things won’t be running quite as smoothly as they should be. New trends dictate that you must update your equipment, software, and machinery to work efficiently, as the equipment is becoming obsolete and redundant. So whether you want to update old systems using Allen Bradley CompactLogic controllers and parts or overhaul them completely, you must address suitability concerns to remove any unwanted downtime and limitations your factory might be experiencing.
Safety is something that needs to be at the forefront of everything you do. Safety practices or lack of them can affect your productivity levels as employees can become injured at work, reducing your staffing levels and your quota as your time will be taken dealing with any incidents.
There are around 200,000 warehouse injuries per year, the majority on forklift trucks, and while skimping on this area might save you money initially, in the long run, it can come back and cost you just as much, if not more, than your initial quote. So implement safety, and watch your productivity and efficiency rocket.
Check Your Layout
When was the last time you assessed the layout of the warehouse floor? It might seem like a wasted effort, but if your employees are wasting time moving around and the flow doesn’t work, this could eliminate a massive source of inefficiency and productivity blocker.
It might be that as you expand over the years, you have added equipment and processes that don’t work with your existing setup, or you have replaced equipment and made other aspects redundant but not removed them; whatever it might be, watch how employees navigate the warehouse floor, what they do to carry out and complete their duties and how easy it is for them to do so.
Overhauling your layout and reconfirming equipment, shelving, storage, and supplies could improve how easy it is for people to work, boosting your productivity.
There is no need for your warehouse to run at a snail’s pace or for mistakes to be made repeatedly.
Step back and address what is and isn’t working, and then you can move forward, putting the right plans in place for the future to make the improvements you need.