Tips for Improving Warehouse Productivity

Making the right order picking choices directly impacts supply chain productivity.

“Making the right order picking choices directly impacts supply chain productivity, so it’s not something to be taken lightly.” - Nicole

10. Analyze picking methodology. “As with ergonomic considerations (i.e., designing the workstation to suit the particular work being done), it’s also important to determine whether the current picking methodology appropriately suits the organization. Making the right order picking choices directly impacts supply chain productivity, so it’s not something to be taken lightly.” – Nicole, Ten Ideas for More Efficient and Productive Warehouse OperationsExpansion Solutions Magazine; Twitter: @ExpansionSolMag

11. Communicate effectively with workers. “Since both inbound and outbound freight can result in changes to it warehouse slotting system, all parties and systems must communicate effectively. Communication should include as much information as possible without becoming burdensome. In other words, your systems and team members should provide information critical to each pick ticket or shipment, but this information must be just enough to allow for the successful completion of an order.” – 10 Ideas for More Efficient and Productive Warehouse OperationsVeridian; Twitter: @VeridianInfo

“Plans for incentive pay or reward systems, especially in pick-and-pack areas, can help encourage more activity and better workflows.” - - APS Fulfillment, Inc.

12. Consider incentives for workers. “Warehouse fulfillment involves a great deal of manpower. Storing and retrieving products and pick-and-pack services are going to be large parts of your business. As a result, productivity can be improved by finding ways to spur and motivate employees. Plans for incentive pay or reward systems, especially in pick-and-pack areas, can help encourage more activity and better workflows.” – How to Improve Warehouse ProductivityAPS Fulfillment, Inc., Twitter: @apsfulfillment

13. Implement custom kitting strategies. “The best way to increase warehouse productivity is by implementing custom kitting strategies. Grouping and bagging components that are often used together into custom kits can help reduce inventory handling time and make better use of warehouse storage space. For businesses that regularly perform the same types of repairs and procedures, custom kitting can help to cut down on time-consuming errors and make the inventory management process more fluid under stringent deadlines.” – Jamie Saltos as quoted in Warehouse Productivity: 15 Experts Reveal Their Top Tips for More Efficient and Productive Warehouse OperationsCamcode; Twitter: @Camcode

“Warehouse work can be tiring. It’s important to make the experience as comfortable as possible, with features such as air conditioning and soft flooring to reduce foot and ankle pains.” ~ Christine Wheler

14. Improve employee comfort. “Warehouse work can be tiring. It’s important to make the experience as comfortable as possible, with features such as air conditioning and soft flooring to reduce foot and ankle pains. If possible, make sure your employees have a rest area and access to a kitchen. Many studies have shown that music can help improve productivity. Consider how to add music. Little things can add to making a big difference.” – Christine Wheeler, 8 Genius Ways to Boost Warehouse ProductivityNewcastle Systems; Twitter: @NewcastleSys

15. Invest in quality equipment. “Investing in quality equipment is essential for improving productivity. Warehouses will often purchase equipment that is being sold at a cheap price in order to reduce their expenditure. However, staff cannot work efficiently without adequate equipment. Products that regularly break will impact the amount of work being completed. It might initially seem cost-effective to buy cheap equipment but cost should not only be monitored in monetary terms if you are running a warehouse; you should also measure cost in terms of productivity.” – Richard Scholes as quoted in Best Ways to Boost Warehouse Productivity: 25 Warehouse Pros and Logistics & Operations Experts Reveal the Single Best Way for Warehouses to Improve ProductivityWonolo; Twitter: @Wonolo

“Before you can improve, you need to have a thorough understanding of these numbers, and how variables affect your warehouse’s productivity.” ~ RMIT University

16. Measure and communicate the right metrics. “When it comes to metrics, William Bauer, Managing Director of Royce Leather, hits the nail on the head, saying, ‘You can’t improve something you haven’t measured.’

“William asks: ‘Does your operation capture and manage critical KPIs? Do you know your critical productivity and costs on shipped orders, cost per box and cost per line shipped?’ Before you can improve, you need to have a thorough understanding of these numbers, and how variables affect your warehouse’s productivity. Only then, William says, can you report feedback to your employees.

“Hannah Lincoln, a lead solution consultant at itas and Sage Software, iterates the importance communicating the metrics to staff in real-time, as a motivational tool. She recommends displaying up-to-date data on the productivity of the warehouse – on a team or individual level.

“‘By giving them real-time, up-to-date information, you will find that you maintain high productivity levels because they can self-monitor their own performance,’ says Lincoln.” – Expert Tips for Increasing Warehouse Productivity, RMIT University; Twitter: @RMIT

17. Minimize errors. “Countless man hours and dollars are lost each and every year in the warehouse industry due to improperly labeled items, lost and misplaced products, and incomplete and/or incorrect orders.The right warehouse technology allows you to trim out all of these sources of waste by adding data verification and alerts to your normal operations. A proper warehouse management system will notify you of apparent errors, identify accuracy issues, and include an ongoing maintenance plan to keep your warehouse organized and clean. If your team is able to spend ten minutes a day checking accuracy and correcting small errors, they won’t be spending two hours a day hunting for products that can’t be found. Warehouse productivity increases when all parties are engaged in keeping things in order every day.” – Reid Curley, How to Improve Warehouse Employee ProductivityArchon Interactive; Twitter: @WaveTrak

“Newer equipment will run faster and break down less.” ~ Carl Carabelli

18. Purchase and install newer equipment. “Purchase and install newer equipment, such as doors, lifts and computer systems. Newer equipment will run faster and break down less. Installing new equipment shows employees that you are invested in the business and in making their jobs easier. This increases morale, which has a positive effect on productivity.” – Carl Carabelli, How to Increase Productivity in a WarehouseHouston Chronicle; Twitter: @HoustonChron

19. Schedule maintenance plans. “Machines will break down at some point. If you are not ready for such an event, the downtime will increase. By scheduling maintenance plans, you can ensure that the machines are serviced regularly. When you implement strict inspections and maintenance plans, you can identify problems before they become too serious.” – 10 Warehouse Productivity Tips for Reducing Downtime Today!Arkieva; Twitter: @Arkieva

“Organize workstations to reduce errors and improve your organizational goals.” ~ Adam Heck

20. Systematize workstations. “Clutter and efficiency have an inverse relationship. Meaning, the less time employees spend searching for the proper tools they need to complete their job, the better their productivity. Organize workstations to reduce errors and improve your organizational goals.” – Adam Heck, 5 Tips to Improve Warehouse ProductivityRack Express; Twitter: @rackexpress

21. Utilize cross-docking to increase productivity. “Superior logistics planning includes cross-docking wherever possible. Cross-docking is the practice of unloading materials from an incoming vehicle and immediately loading these same materials directly onto outbound vehicles with minimal or zero warehousing interval between. Think of this as ‘Just-in-Time’ shipping. Cross-docking is an ideal solution when product freshness is paramount. Cross-docking evolved out of a need to get perishable goods to market quickly. This procedure is one of the key inclusions an organization can make to its portfolio of standards whose function is to drive manufacturing and distribution center improvements.” – Anica Oaks, 5 Lean Best Practices for the WarehouseApriso; Twitter: @3DSdelmia

Search

What are you interested in? Explore some of the best tips from around the city from our partners and friends.