Having an efficient and well-organised warehouse is one of the most critical factors in operating a successful supply chain.
The logistics behind warehouse operations can be complex and often require expert warehouse management systems to ensure their ongoing success.
There are a number of key areas that come into play when deciding what makes a good warehouse – each area must run harmoniously alongside the other. A lapse in any area may result in the cycle of the business suffering. This can ultimately lead to delays in fulfilment and poor customer service.
We’ve broken down some of the most important elements that make a successful and efficient warehouse.
8 Things That Make a Great Warehouse
1. Storage and design
Maximising your available warehouse space can save you significant costs that tend to come with expanding the warehouse footprint. Adding taller units to make use of the vertical space can increase the overall storage area. Using the correct shelving for your inventory needs is also important.
2. Fully trained staff
Your staff are at the core of your successful supply chain. Ensuring they are fully trained, qualified and equipped to perform their roles within the warehouse operation is vital. Ongoing training should be provided regularly, particularly when new machinery is used or new processes are implemented.
3. Up-to-date software
Efficient warehouses use the latest in software developments to help control operations. Up-to-date software programmes can be used to manage inventory, track warehouse maintenance, track shipping information and other logistic information. There is a range of warehouse management software options available, and it’s important to choose those which are best suited to your specific operational requirements.
4. Health and Safety
Avoiding accidents and other incidents which may impact the health and safety of your staff as well as your fulfilment times and customer satisfaction. Training is paramount in ensuring the safety of your staff, both in the machinery they’ll be using, but also in areas such as handling heavy goods, properly processing waste etc.
Losses and thefts can cost you and your clients – both in monetary losses and also a loss of trust and customer satisfaction. Good warehouses should invest in high levels of security, including 24/7 monitoring, CCTV and efficient alarm systems.
6. Picking and packing processes
Time spent picking and packing orders can have a significant impact on your warehouse operation speed and efficiency. A correctly developed pick list can help save time and resources. For small orders with large product quantities, arrange lists so pickers can work from one material location to the next to avoid any back and forth.
7. Emergency protocols
While some emergency protocols may seem more pressing than others, it’s vital to have a range of thoroughly-planned protocols in place to cover a range of eventualities, including incidents such as fires, machinery breakages or accidents, or even the risk of flooding.
8. Warehouse location
Choosing the correct location for your warehouse can be a difficult choice, but it is vital for warehouse efficiency. You must consider whether it is more essential for your warehouse to be closer to retailers and commerce centres, or whether it is more beneficial to be placed closer to industrial hubs or shipping ports.
At Optima Warehouse Solutions, we are fully equipped to help you discover the most efficient ways to run your warehouse.
Get in touch today for more information.