These are exciting and challenging times to be in the logistics industry. Explosive consumer demand has opened the door for healthy profits for the warehousing industry. There’s no doubt that the rise of e-commerce, and online ordering, have played a big part in this growth.
Apex has operated in diverse industries since 2006, helping warehouse teams deliver on their strategic objectives. In that time, we have seen many changes in the industry and the market, requiring creative solutions to allow our customers to continue exceeding customer expectations while reducing costs.
An efficient warehouse hinges on a combination of reducing costs, increasing productivity, and improving service levels to create delighted customers. An effective warehouse management system, outstanding employee management, and right-fit automation underpin this strategy.
In this article, we briefly explore three ways to reduce your warehouse costs and improve its performance:
1. Improving inventory management
2. Using technology for packing and processing
3. Matching warehouse workload according to employee capabilities
1. Improving Inventory Management
There are many ways to improve inventory management, but we’re going to focus on three: improve accessibility, organisation, and space utilisation.
- Accessibility: Your fastest-moving stock should be located in the optimal position for picking, packing, and shipping to cut down on the time it takes to locate, pick, and ship orders.
- Organisation: Stock organisation is crucial to a warehouse running smoothly. The stock should be accurately categorised, neatly stored, and clearly labelled. Doing this makes it easier for your workers to find the correct inventory. If you get this right, you’ll improve efficiency, reduce labour costs, and maintain profitability.
- Space utilisation: Warehouse rental is expensive, so avoiding paying for more space is essential to reducing operating costs. In Apex’s experience, poor space utilisation is one of the most common problems affecting warehouse profitability. However, it is also one of the most straightforward problems to solve. There are many ways to reduce space requirements, such as consolidating part pallets, reducing inventory levels and safety stock, or implementing more space-efficient storage solutions.
2. Using technology for packing and shipping
Picking and packing are two of the most labour-intensive operations in warehouse management. As a result, human error is one of the biggest challenges in the warehouse process. Technology helps mitigate human error.
A technology-driven warehouse that invests in a robust warehouse management system will manage multiple orders, tracking, and last-minute changes more effectively, reducing human error and increasing productivity. Given the right tools, properly trained workers can execute orders correctly and efficiently.
A best-in-class WMS software can incorporate many technologies, including automated picking tools, wearables, automated guided vehicles, and voice picking, to name a few options available.
3. Matching Warehouse Workload According to Employee Capabilities
Carefully evaluate your workers’ capabilities so that you can plan and schedule their workloads appropriately and maximise their productivity. Ensure that your warehouse is adequately staffed with the right people and outfitted with all the equipment necessary for optimal functioning. Workers need a safe and comfortable environment to carry out their jobs.
Set your workers up for success by raising safety standards. Injuries at work take their toll, both in terms of staff morale and workers’ compensation costs.
Improve workstation ergonomics to make it easier for your workers to do their jobs. Warehouse work is, by its nature, repetitious and laborious. Continuous lifting, carrying, and moving goods can take their toll. One way to mitigate this is to set up more comfortable and functional workstations.
If you are looking for warehouse management solutions that will reduce your warehousing costs, improve your inventory management, optimise your workers’ efforts, and give you the fit-for-purpose technology for your circumstances, reach out to Apex. Apex provides WMS support services and consulting for warehouse management, ensuring smooth supply chain operations and optimal inventory management efficiency. Our experts will help you get the most out of your warehouse and people.