The warehouse plays a crucial part in the supply chain of any business that relies on them, be they commercial, fulfillment, or any other kind of business.
As such, wasted time, energy, and products in your warehouse are going to hurt your bottom line directly.
If you find that you’re losing too much of the money you put into your business, it’s always a good idea to start by looking at the warehouse first and foremost.
Don’t let items run out of the clock
One of the things you make sure to track is when items are going to waste. A lot of items have a natural sell-by date.
There are other ways to make sure that spoilage doesn’t affect these items, but the first and best way to do it is to be aware of the date, track it, and make sure that you’re shipping them in time to hit the store shelves (or be delivered to the customers.)
One of the best ways to do that is with an inventory system like Veeqo that keeps data, including the sell-by date or each item, and helps alert you when that date is approaching so you can ship out those items approaching it, first.
Stop losing your items
Warehouses can be big and there can be thousands of items in them at any one time. As such, it’s very easy that some items can genuinely get lost amongst the sheer volume of goods there.
Another one of the benefits of a digital inventory system is that it can make it easier to track the physical location of goods from the moment that they arrive at the stock check-in to the moment that they’re shipped out.
Using accessories like scanners, you can mark the location of each physical good. Make sure that it’s scanned every time it’s being moved and you should be losing much fewer items between the shelves.
Of course, sometimes, items get lost for less legitimate reasons, which is what we will cover next.
How your goods are stored
Poor storage of your goods, as in, how they are physically placed alongside one another, is an easy way to cause damage to them. If they don’t have strong, supported storage spaces, then it’s easier for them to be damaged due to impacts, weight, and so on.
Using storage solutions such as shelving from Bilt Industries should be an essential part of building a warehouse. Make sure that you have the right kind of shelving spaces for each kind of item as well.
Some of them might be able to take more or less weight than others, so they should be spaced and layered vertically appropriately based on those needs. It can help you prevent a lot of loss via damage.
Be mindful of theft
We don’t like to think that our own staff is capable of stealing from the company that pays for their way of life, but it happens more often than you might think.
Using inventory systems that track not only when goods are moved but who is moving them can help you keep your team accountable should several items go missing.
However, security installations like CCTV camera systems like A1 Security Cameras tend to be some of the most effective ways to keeping an eye on your stock, as well as deterring those who might think of committing a crime on the property in the first place.
Access controls for areas where you keep your most valuable goods might help narrow down the list of potential suspects and thus reduce the chances of theft, as well.
Make sure that you can rely on your team
Aside from keeping an eye on them and better protecting your goods, you should also make sure that your team is reliable.
By looking a little more closely into how you hire, you can make sure that you identify any potentially problematic workers ahead of time and prioritize giving the job to those who are less likely to cause problems for you.
Conducting background checks when hiring for your warehouse can make sure that you’re avoiding those with criminal pasts, particularly relevant histories, such as a history of robbery or other theft-related crimes. This isn’t the only thing you should be checking for, of course, but it should be considered a priority.
Keep the environment controlled
This will matter most for those products that are made of organic materials and likely to have an expiration date, such as food.
However, keeping the warehouse dry, managing the temperature well, and ventilating it is going to prevent waste across the board.
Make sure that if you have any storage areas that rely on technology such as refrigeration systems, that you have those systems maintained on a schedule.
This way, you can prevent problems from popping up and more quickly spot those that do occur. Otherwise, you could be causing more of your product to spoil without even noticing it.
Managing your team better
It’s not just about the warehouse, it’s also about the people that work in it. Better management of your team will result in less wasted time. This can include training in the most efficient ways of shipping, moving, and checking inventory.
It can also include making sure that you’re not scheduling them for shifts that are too long, as people typically become a lot less productive after 9 or more hours of work.
More effective communication using things like project management tools can help a lot. Make sure that your team members know what they should be doing at any given time and have been offered the most efficient methods and tools for doing it.
If there is regular waste in your warehouse, then rarely is it a problem of your team not working hard enough or making mistakes unprompted. There are systemic issues that you should solve, first and foremost.
Hopefully, we’ve highlighted some of those that need to be tackled first and foremost.