Improve warehouse efficiency with simple tips

Nowadays, having an efficient Japan warehouse has become quite a competitive business. This is why a lot of people are trying to optimize their costs and come up on top of the warehouse game. One of the best ways to do this is to improve your warehouse efficiency. In order to achieve the best efficiency, you need to consider many factors. These include your workers, the inventory and the freight. Of course, there are so many more things to consider and problems that can arise. And your job is to balance every and each one of these factors properly and efficiently. You can start by being in control of the main assets of your warehouse. This way, you will be ready for almost anything. This is why in this article, we give you some great basic tips to improve warehouse efficiency.

Use your space carefully for full warehouse efficiency

This one might be kinda obvious, but planning out your warehouse space and using it efficiently is one of the first steps to having a successful warehouse. There are a couple of things you can do to improve this. Two of those are simplifying the process in which the freight moves through your warehouse, and utilizing the vertical spaces to your advantage.

Simplify the process

Saving time increases warehouse efficiency.
Saving time increases warehouse efficiency.

If you have been running your business for a few years (like Kokusai Express Japan has), you

might be aware that, after a certain time, things can get very complicated. The processes that were once simple can take more and more time, and sometimes you layer one function over the next. We end up with a messy warehouse and little efficiency.

In order to solve this, you should go through the product flow of your warehouse in details. This way, you will see if there is a way for you to improve your warehouse efficiency by changing some things around. Maybe some process can be bypassed or is unnecessary. You can shuffle the things around in order to reduce the time it takes for your workers to get from point A to point B. For example, you can place high-volume items to the front of the warehouse, in order to reduce their travel time. Also, you can clutter items that people buy together to maximize your warehouse efficiency. Going deep and micromanaging these processes is the first step in better understanding your warehouse.

Go vertical

Consider how you are using vertical spaces.
Consider how you are using vertical spaces.

Maybe you have already optimized your product flow, and you’re now thinking of expanding the warehouse. That’s a trap many people fall right into. The first thing to do is consider how well you are using the vertical space. Sometimes, using higher, different shelving units can help you store even more products. Also, consider informing yourself about various shelving units available for your freight. Not every item can fit on every shelf, and sometimes smaller items can just be a difficulty for bigger shelves. You will also need to think about upgrading your equipment as well. However, don’t worry – these all pay off in the long run.

Organize workstations

You should also pay attention to the workstations. Organizing these helps your workers by reducing their time. When having a great workspace, they don’t spend time searching for tools or equipment, which has a direct influence on your warehouse efficiency. Always think about the 5S – sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Follow these and you are sure to reduce errors, save time, remove clutter and most importantly, improve the safety of your workplace.

Improving warehouse efficiency by improving the labor

Another big factor to consider when improving warehouse efficiency is your workforce. Whether you are a small company or an international freight forwarding company, you cannot succeed without your worker. And ensuring they are efficient helps with your warehouse, too.

Incentive pay

Sometimes, the best way to ensure the warehouse efficiency is by incentive pay. Once you are aware of the processes in your warehouse you need to improve, consider giving your workers some incentive to work more efficiently. Be careful to target the areas that need improving. Otherwise, you are spending money on a process that is already efficient and working well. Your first focus should be on picking and packing freight because the majority of your labor will be these two.

Hire effective managers

Hiring effective managers increases warehouse efficiency.
Hiring effective managers increases warehouse efficiency.

Another thing to do is hiring, and ensuring you have effective managers. They can greatly affect the costs, worker morale and the quality of order fulfillment in your warehouse, and these directly effect warehouse efficiency. You need to consider all the resources you have – can you train your managers? Are there any other incentives you can use to motivate their efficiency? Also think about the effects their productivity has on your company, and target those areas when managing your managers.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when improving warehouse efficiency

Finally, managing a warehouse is a lot of work, and you will need some help. Whether it is hiring a consultant, or getting new technologies to help, anything that increases your warehouse efficiency is a bonus.

Use consultants

One of the main problems warehouse owners face is controlling the freight movement. This includes both inbound and outbound products. Hiring a consultant can greatly help with this, as well as negotiations with customers. Furthermore, if there is an area of warehouse management that you find difficult, hiring professional help is a great way to deal with the problem and learn how to work through it in the future.

Enabling technology can help improve warehouse efficiency

Finally, having the proper technology greatly affects your warehouse efficiency. It can speed up most of the processes that take place in your warehouse, but there are also programs and applications that can improve them, too. For example, consider getting a warehouse management system. These can give you the best routes and methods for moving the freight around your warehouse. In turn, this significantly reduces the time your workers spend on each delivery. Warehouse management systems have other various tools as well, each of which can improve your warehouse efficiency in a different way.

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