So, you’ve cleared all the initial hurdles. You’ve established yourself as a distribution company, you’ve built up your customer base, and you’ve plotted a path for growth. Now it’s time for careful, long-term planning and intentional organization of all of your company’s assets. There are few things that can slow a company’s progress more definitively than a chaotic warehouse. With some careful thought and planning, you can set your warehouse up for success.
As we gear up for PANELS 2018, we’ve curated the most practical inventory management tips for your growth — here’s a few of them.
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1. Keep your warehouse clean and clutter-free. This is just common sense. A clean environment is always easier to maintain, and it’s safer for your employees who have to navigate the warehouse daily. It’s a simple concept, but it’s crucial. Take pride in your warehouse, and keep it sparkling.
2. How many different shipping containers do you really need? While it might be tempting to have 10 different sized boxes for all your differently-sized inventory, too many options might actually slow down your employees and take up too much valuable space in the warehouse. In the interest of efficiency and maximized space, less could be more when it comes to boxes or other shipping containers. Keep in mind, though, that larger boxes cost more to ship, and could offset your savings.
3. Consider using bins, or creating a multi-bin environment. Sometimes numbered aisles and shelves aren’t enough. Would lining your shelves with numbered or lettered bins make locating inventory quicker, or would it add an unnecessary layer of complexity? Do you need a multi-bin environment, with nested bins? Depending on the type of inventory you sell, this could be a huge improvement in your warehouse’s organization.
4. Consider adding barcoding or RFID chips. If you’re not using barcodes or RFID chips to digitally track your inventory, you should probably at least look into the possibility. Barcoding, or a similar practice, makes maintaining accurate inventory records infinitely easier and removes a lot of potential for human error. Rather than carrying a clipboard around and writing down information about a piece of inventory, a warehouse employee can simply scan the item to pull it for a sales order, record it for a stock count, add it to a transfer, and more.
No two companies or warehouses are the same, and only you can determine the best organization strategies for both your warehouse and your business. Hopefully, this list of considerations will serve to guide you in the right direction. Whether you’re just starting out and eager to make sure you avoid potential pitfalls or you’re currently bogged down by an inefficient warehouse, addressing these key considerations in organization will be a big help as you continue to improve your warehouse operations.
SalesPad specializes in inventory and order management software, and is all about helping businesses keep their warehouses on the path toward success. Visit www.salespad.com if you’re interested in learning more about software solutions for your own warehouse.