Warehouse Operations Best Practices

The process of warehouse management is not as straightforward as other management processes. Often, warehouse managers have to observe the flow of products in and out of the warehouse while accounting for any loses or damages. The warehouse manager also has the responsibility of ensuring that the warehouse is fully equipped with the products as demanded without the risk of retaining dead stock. With these and other factors in consideration, the warehouse management is under constant pressure to optimize the processes, cut cost and increase profits as required by ball stakeholders. Due to the importance of the warehouse operations in any industry, many articles tend to address the best practices.

warehouse operations best practices

One of the best practices in warehouse processes is the use of automated data collection. With the increase of technology, the use of automated processes is on the increase. When using pens and pads of paper in such a setting, employees are likely to make mistakes, which can cause chaos and loses. On the other hand, the use of automated methods such as barcoding and radio frequency identification increase efficiency and accuracy, may also lower labor cost and increase the smooth flow of the processes. Mobile computers with bar code scanners or RFID readers may also be used especially when receiving a new batch of products. This ensures customers receive their orders quickly and as demanded.

The second approach is by using any bin locations software, which has also been proven to work especially in large warehouses. This is because it enables for the location of products quickly especially when needed in a hurry. The wide variety of software available allows for the quick location of bins by identifying the accurate location of the required product. However, one should be wary of mixing several SKUs in one location since they lead to confusion during bin location identification. Mixing several SKUs also reduce the accuracy of identifying the bin location hence reducing efficiency.

Thirdly, an asset tracking system may be used to record the frequency of times and time frames when the inventory is picked. Some products may be picked as few as five times annually. Stocking such a product throughout the year makes little sense as may be more of a dead stock only taking up the warehouse space. Instead, warehouse management may choose to utilize drip shipping from the management when the products are demanded. Thus, the asset tracking system allows management to determine the value of space occupied by inventory.

Fourth, warehouse management may Establish advanced shipping notification. Many organizations lack electronically transmitted advanced shipping notification (ASN) due to lack of awareness on the benefits of ASN. In order to avoid labor wastage and delays, ASN may be used to forecast any delays and plan the workforce to operate more effectively. This may also help cut cost and optimize the transport modes. Warehouse management may use such notifications to communicate with the customer regarding any unexpected changes in order to avoid losing the customer to the competitors.