In case you didn’t know, warehousing is an integral part of any business that deals with intangible goods.
If you ask me, your business is at risk of failing if you don’t take warehousing into consideration.
It is okay if your warehousing management isn’t up to mark. There should be no fear at all!
You can still work on improving it. Just keep on reading, and you’ll see what I’m talking about…
That’s right. This blog is all about warehouse operations, how the management process works, and how you can improve your warehouse operations.
So, gear up! I’m taking you out on an informative ride.
Do you know what exactly warehouse operations are? Do you know the part where your business has timely delivery, optimization in production, and labor productivity?
That is what warehousing operations bring to your business.
All of this leads to consumer satisfaction. I mean, what can be higher than knowing your customers are satisfied in this competitive world of business?
Moreover, warehousing operations can help you prevent errors and damages in the order fulfillment process. Also, there’s no need to worry about your goods being stolen or misplaced. If you carry out your warehouse operations well, your goods are in safe hands.
However, I’d say that achieving these goals require you to plan always and change your plans accordingly.
The coverage of warehouse operations is enormous, ranging from receiving, organizing, fulfillment, and distributing processes:
The above areas are just a few which come under warehouse operations. Trust me, and there is much more to it, you merely have touched the surface.
But, these areas form the core part of the operation, and they form the building block for all types of warehouse, regardless of their size. So, whether your warehouse is big or small, you have it all covered.
How do Warehouse Operations Work?
If you’re wondering how warehouse operations work, let me help you out there.
Many factors drive warehouse operations, and the critical factor is the customer’s experience. Since the rise of many e-commerce online platforms like Amazon and its autonomous delivery centers, customers have been demanding one-day, two days, or sometimes hourly shipping times.
Customer needs are being kept at the forefront due to these expectations. As I said, customer satisfaction is the key.
So, how can you meet their needs and expectations?
You can achieve this by investing in a software system like mobile WMS, WES, and CRM that gives a complete picture of inventory level to all members of the supply chain, including customers.
With these software purchases, data can be used to organize the inventory in the warehouse in such a way that the most popular product is strategically placed.
Once you have made all the arrangements of setting up a warehouse factor-like new technology integration, health, and safety, personnel management should also be considered.
Organization fleet, whether it is internal or otherwise, also requires attention. The staff working at the warehouse should be responsible enough to ensure that all inventory is picked, packed, and ready for delivery. Not just that, but in the most efficient way possible.
How Can You Improve Warehouse Operations?
Ah, the main question. I’m sure by now and you know that managing warehouse operations in an efficient manner are an essential aspect of supply chain management. A well-planned warehouse operation ensures smooth supplies to the customer.
Now, if you’re ready, let me give you some tips on improving warehouse operations.
1. Adopting lean warehouse practice:
By adopting lean warehouse operations, you can save a considerable amount of money in a long and sustainable way.
Lean warehouse practice can bring in a sea of change in warehouse operations.
You’ll be looking forward to reduced handling time in loading and unloading containers, which increases reliability. Also, there will be greater flexibility to adapt according to the changing market conditions and customer specifications.
2. Avoid laziness and delaying tactics when receiving shipments:
Being lazy is alright, sometimes. But it is never okay when it comes to warehouse operations.
Warehouse management shouldn’t employ any delaying tactics when shipments arrive and should immediately unpack and place the goods in an order. If the shipment is coming every day or every week, you need to arrange the products promptly.
If not, you’ll be looking at piles and piles of goods. That’s a bigger beast to handle.
My simple advice is: Don’t. Be. Lazy.
3. Training Employees:
Of course, a business can’t run efficiently without trained employees! Untrained employees only increase the costs of your business.
If you are going to use the effective and latest technology, but you don’t have trained employees to operate them, then it is futile to think that the process will run efficiently.
You can conduct training programs that focus on new technology and its efficient use. We all know that education and training encourage employees to be innovative in their ideas.
4. Creating an Omnichannel Fulfillment system:
Have you heard about the Omni Channel Fulfillment System?
It is a recent trend. The point is to move away from distribution centers dedicated to a single channel and now fulfill orders on multiple channels.
Its main benefit is to have inventory and fulfillment for all channels under one roof, which means low labor and inventory cost.
Well, I think it is a great system!
5. Running an audit on the warehouse:
Auditing is important. Your company should run an audit of the warehouse to check whether the improvements and control are placed on the warehouse is in place or not.
An internal audit department can be useful for conducting an audit on the warehouse.
Remember, there should be no leniency! This only results in lax control and inefficient warehouse operation.
Ware House Management Process:
Each warehouse has its own process and manages its inventory accordingly. Your warehouse management can be quite different from others! Let’s take a look at some basic warehouse management processes that almost everyone follows:
1. Inventory tracking:
Inventory tracking involves monitoring stock levels. This is so you know which product is in your warehouse and the exact location of that product or if they are in transit or en route to a store.
It also helps you to know how much product is left to be shipped and in projecting our purchase from the supplier.
2. Picking and Packing:
Picking and packing are essential functions of warehousing. What you should do is generate a pick list for each picker in an effective way.
This process involves a picker picking a packer list of the items ordered and the storage location mentioned on it. The picker will collect the items from the location, then it is handed over to the packer who secularly place it into the box and add additional packaging material then putting a shipping label on it.
3. Receiving and storing:
This is a process in which the management will receive goods from the loading dock and transport it into the warehouse. The goods will be scanned and will then be placed in their short term or long-term location where they will be scanned again.
Warehouse management is responsible for the shipping of products to its customers.
Based on the shipping option offered by your company, shipping companies like DHL, FEDX, and USPS will pick the order and deliver it to the customer.
After the order is picked, your warehouse management system should be able to send e-commerce order tracking information back to the store so that customers can track their shipment.
5. Reporting on inventory:
An important aspect of warehouse management now days is providing inventory reports.
The report may include accuracy in fulfilling orders, order shipped on time, etc. Make sure that staff efficiency, level of training, and inventory forecasting is also mentioned in the report.
Growth is given when your business is doing well on all fronts. Hopefully, these warehouse tips will help you consolidate the business and give your business a breather of success.