How to organize your warehouse
Warehouse organization is fundamentally important, however, it is often overlooked by small business owners. This is because it requires a significant investment in terms of time, money and especially resources.
Warehouse organization will always play a crucial role in your business, whether it’s a small business that is slowly spreading its wings, or a business that is booming with multiple warehouses across the continent – warehouse organization is a necessary evil.
Every warehouse owner wants to have organized warehouse logistics that are able to withstand production without ever slowing it down. Efficient management of incoming and outgoing goods, planning strategies that must be followed by workers and supervisors alike and ultimately a warehouse software capable of streamlining your workflow and generating purchase orders – these are all pillars of a successful, lasting business.
Always start by improving the warehouse layout.
The key to improving inventory management may lie with the warehouse layout itself. All warehouses deal with space issues, even the largest ones. If popular items are in the far corners of the warehouse, it might causes inefficiency and thus, wasted time. Also, consider the flow of the warehouse and try to avoid things such as floor pallets blocking access to aisles that can lead to workers taking round-about routes. Inspect the layout design of your warehouse, move aisles or adopt other shelving systems to ensure a better layout.
The next step would be to adopt an organization duty list.
We would highly recommend creating a daily list of tasks for your team in order to keep everything organized, efficient and ultimately safe. This list can include tasks such as routine cleaning in order to minimize clutter and regular maintenance tasks for the equipment.
Sort your inventory properly and logically.
One of the most frequent mistake made by warehouses is organizing the products alphabetically. You have to keep in mind that certain products are always in customer demand, and these products might move a lot more frequently than others. As such, sorting these products among slower moving products is a bad idea. Know your customers, learn which products sell on a regular basis and always have these fast-moving products at hand!
Ergonomic sense – Safety.
Safety is a priority issue in warehouse operation, and very important when it comes to having an organized warehouse. A few common sense and basic guidelines will keep workers free from accidents and injuries. Bulky or heavy items should always be stored on ground level pallets or lower-level shelves and slots. The rule of thumb is to keep heavy items at or below knee level in order to avoid injury. Lighter and smaller items are better stored on higher shelves. High-volume items should be slotted in the so-called wheelhouse zone, the area between the waist and shoulder height, as this results in a better ergonomic situation for the pickers.
Get rid of obsolete and old items.
You can increase warehouse space and boost order fulfillment times by eliminating excess inventory stock. This can also increase delivery, sorting and stacking processes. You need to keep an eye on how products are moving so you can make the right decision, that’s why regularly paying attention to your sales and inventory data is so important.
Having a warehouse software capable of stock management is imperative.
Stocks must always be kept up to date in order to avoid over-selling. Otherwise, this could negatively impact your business and your rating on eCommerce platforms such as eBay or Amazon.
Our own stock management software, NVENTREE, can aid your business and help it reach new levels. It manages your products, your stocks and orders across multiple platforms, such as eBay, Amazon and your website(s). NVENTREE will automatically update your stocks and sync them across all of your platforms.
Having courier integration is also one of the strongest selling points of NVENTREE. It gives the user the ability to create pickwaves, print labels, generate orders and dispatch them efficiently.
Ultimately, don’t forget that each business is different and has its own peculiarities. In other words, there is no best or worst approach: everything simply depends on the needs and requirements of your business.
Keep in mind that a warehouse cannot organize itself! However, with these tips we hope that your warehouse organization will be more efficient and your workflow will be better structured.