Most warehouse managers are constantly on the look-out for ways to maximize productivity and maintain it. Warehouses are usually complex operations with various functions being carried out simultaneously. Therefore, it’s not easy to determine the areas wherein there’s scope for improvement in order to increase productivity, but there are plenty of areas you can identify to boost productivity in your operation. Let’s find out how to keep your warehouse productive.
Improve the material handling system
As a key function of warehousing, the material handling system is one aspect that can give great returns in terms of productivity. Installing efficient material handling devices in your warehouse is a good start to that. A sound material handling system ensures that goods reach from the dock to the appropriate storage space in the least amount of time. It also maintains the integrity of goods. Moreover, a good material handling system helps you mitigate theft, damage, and spoilage. Most importantly, proper material handling comprises the effective storage of goods. It allows warehouses to store goods in an organized manner so it’s easy to pick and pack inventory as and when needed.
Focus on employee
When it comes to a warehousing operation, employees are one of the most important factors to improve productivity. This includes employee morale and employee comfort. For example, you can install an articulating jib crane for the positioning of heavy objects. This relieves the employees of the heavy lifting so they can focus their productivity on more important tasks. An effective material handling system affects employee morale as well. On the other hand, a lousy material handling system poses serious threats to employee safety. This is demonstrated by the fact that useless or inefficient activities lead to reduced mental health in workers, and unhappy workers are unproductive workers. They’re also more likely to take time off or quit, increasing turnover and raising your recruitment costs.
Improve warehouse layout
The warehouse layout is an important factor that affects productivity. Review and revise the warehouse layout on a timely basis. This can be done by stocking items in a logical order and ensuring that they can be retrieved quickly with ease. Another way is to place the high-frequency goods in the most strategic areas so workers can pick more effectively. For example, a machine used in one step of production may be placed all the way on the other side of the warehouse from the previous step. This doubles the time spent by employees on that task. You can use a vertical automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) that places the most frequently ordered products closest to the worker; this helps workers pick orders faster.
Utilize the space efficiently
By designing the warehouse space in an efficient way, you can utilize most of the available space to boost productivity. For example, the pallets can be stored in a way that workers can access goods without moving other goods out of the way. The racks should be safely and readily accessible by forklifts and pallet jacks.
In conclusion, a combination of a good layout and material handling devices can improve productivity in your warehouse manifold.