A warehouse is an important facility in the supply chain in an organization. Warehouse in a supply chain performs different activities such as temporary storing, packaging, assembling, and manufacturing. Warehouse management and organization is the key to success in obtaining a competitive advantage.
To have an effective warehouse management, it is important that the business develop a standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the management of the warehouse. The SOPs will help warehouse managers to effectively implement rules and procedures of the warehouse, resulting in effective management of the warehouse.
Here are few steps on how to effectively organize a warehouse:
Maintaining 5S at the warehouse will enable the warehouse management to improve the visibility of the processes and products. This will help to reduce the order picking time in the warehouse. Order picking is one of the most time-consuming elements in warehouse management that affect the efficiency and turnover of the warehouse. 5S implementation will specify the location for every materials and hence material traceability will be easier. Further 5S implementation will enable the company to ensure the cleaning, standardization of the activities, and sorting of necessary and unnecessary items in the warehouse.
2. Order Retrieving (FIFO & FEFO)
FIFO and FEFO system helps warehouse management effectively place their items in a warehouse. The term FIFO stands for First in and First out. FIFO system best suits for products where prices remain the same or steady. FEFO stands for First Expire and First out and represents those items that have a shorter expiry date.
3. Division of warehouse based on operations
Warehouse usually performs three activities, order receiving, order storing, and order dispatching. Based on the above three functions, it is suggested that the warehouse is also clearly divided into three sections for effective organization and management. For effective management of warehouse, usually order receiving function is performed at one sift. For example, to avoid traffic jams in major cities, heavy trucks and vehicles are not allowed during the daytime and hence orders are received during the night shift. This also reduces employees and the effective management of the warehouse.
4. Technology Implementation
Technology has changed all activities in the warehouse. From order picking to order storing, every function is digitized and controlled with the help of technology. Robots are used for order picking and goods movement in the warehouse. This has reduced workers’ fatigue. For instance, robots are also used for assembly, packing and some other necessary functions as well to improve warehouse efficiency. RFID technology is used in product and goods tracking and hence facilitates order picking and order retrieving. Drones are widely used in placing goods in warehouses and delivering customer orders in urgent cases to avoid road traffic.
Modern software is also used to effectively manage the warehouse. Other usages includes designing the layout of the store and this suggests product placement in the warehouse so that there is effective space utilization.
Axacute is a cloud-based solution that is designed for inventory & production data collection and tracking which is done via barcoding scanning. Not only it can improve accuracy of inventory/productivity, but also provides real-time tracking of order status. It is much more accurate & time saving comparing to manually keeping track of activities.
For effective warehouse organization, employees, labour management, and goods safety is critical. This is important that all the items are well packed and fastened so that they may not drop, spoil or pour on employees or other products. Usually heavier products or goods are placed on lower racks and other lower-weight items are placed on upper racks. Hazardous material and chemicals are well identified and they are placed at a separate and specified locations.
Employees are provided with personal protection equipment. There should be enough space for the movement of employees and other material handling equipment. Proper ventilation, lighting, humidity control, and free movement and working of warehouse staff are the basic right of employees and these should be provided by the warehouse management. All these facilities affect positively warehouse management and organization and improve the productivity of the employees.
Axacute features labour productivity whereby you can track operator productivity such as total labour hours per operation in each job order and multiple jobs per employee, at the same time ensuring their safety by ensuring they are at the right time and right place.
For effective warehouse organization, this is suggested that the warehouse management is performing auditing at regular intervals. Inventory auditing will help to ensure the inventory accuracy and any mismatch or inventory difference will be timely identified. Usually, warehouses have theft, damages, inventory record not matching, and similar other issues. With the help of auditing, all these issues and problems will be monitored and controlled.
Usually, inventory physical counting takes place where either a perpetual or periodic system. Under a perpetual system of inventory, each unit is updated after every transaction and this is usually ensured with the help of a computerized POS system. Periodic inventory auditing is performed after a specific period. ABC system is followed in the inventory auditing system where items with higher annual dollar volume (Cost and expansive) are placed in the A category and strict monitoring is performed. Items B and Items C are usually low-cost items and they may be checked or audited through a periodic inventory auditing system.
7. Repair & Maintenance
Warehouse management should develop an effective maintenance schedule and plan for timely repair and maintenance of the warehouse. This will help to keep the warehouse in its original position and the organization of the warehouse will be easier.
In Axacute, machine efficiency is one of the production module features that enables you to measure machine utilization by tracking downtime, run and setup hours, ensuring smooth business processes and operations without hiccups.
8. Warehouse KPIs
To effectively organize a warehouse, warehouse managers should design Warehouse KPIs. Monitoring the warehouse performance based on these KPIs such as cost, space utilization, employee turnover, warehouse turnover, resources utilization, Maintenance and repair cost, etc. will help to manage and organize warehouse activities effectively.
9. Training of Employees
Warehouse staff should be provided with different pieces of training related to warehouse management and organizing. This will help them to know the modern management techniques and best practices for organizing the warehouse. This will also help them to realize the importance of warehouse organization and management as the warehouse represents a high operational cost. Through effective trainings, the efficiency and productivity of the warehouse and employees will further improve. Employees may also be trained about safety SOPs in a warehouse.
Managing a warehouse isn’t just about storing as much as possible. It is also important to establish a sense of structure and order, which results in a more efficiently run warehouse.
We hope that the above ways can help you effectively organize your warehouse better and strive for a more efficient work space.
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