Creating and managing an organized and efficient warehouse is no easy undertaking, especially if your operation is busy. And if you don’t start off on the right foot, you could definitely experience a decline in efficiency, an increase in clutter, and a warehouse that looks like a cyclone went through it before too long. That said, you’re not reinventing the wheel, and you can take advantage of the sage advice of those who have gone before (or simply hire a warehouse efficiency expert to help you out). Either way, there are simple steps you can take to organize your warehouse inventory.
The process begins by having the right foundations in place, which is to say, proper racks, shelving, and bins to suit your storage needs. And you need to think not only in horizontal space, but also vertical. If you want to make the best use of the warehouse space you have available, you need to think in three dimensions.
From there you should be able to take measurements based on the items you’ll be storing so that you can determine how to optimize your layout and design. It will take some time and effort, no doubt, but the end result will be storage solutions that meet your organizational needs.
And don’t forget to optimize spacing between racks, as well. You need to make sure that lanes are sized so that your Shaw Material Handling Systems, Inc. lift truck can maneuver when storing and picking products.
Next you need to make sure you have a modern labeling and tracking system in place. Smaller operations may still be able to get by with old-school labeling practices, but a larger operation can’t hope to succeed without a computerized system in place. This should include barcode scanning technology at the very least, as well as programming to track inventory, generate reports, link orders to product, and collate picking. This will not only help you to organize your inventory and track it as it moves in, around, and out of your warehouse, but it will also optimize efficiency in operations, including intake, storage, and picking and shipping.
You can even use the right software to organize the layout of your inventory so that items are grouped according to categories and the most popular products are easiest to get to. You can place recurring orders near the loading bay in your warehouse since you know these items will be coming and going frequently.
And over time you can get some idea of which items you should be stocking more of and which ones should be removed from your product line because they’re merely taking up space and gathering dust. Don’t forget, you also need to train employees to properly use the tools at their disposal and follow policies and procedures for optimal organization and operation.
The process of warehouse organization is not easy, but neither is it rocket science. It may take some trial and error to get your warehouse running like a well-oiled machine, but there are steps you can take to eliminate clutter and waste so that you can get organized and increase efficiency. Once you have the infrastructure in place to organize your inventory, it’s just a matter of remaining vigilant so that your operation continues to run smoothly.