To maximize profitability, an enterprise must function efficiently at its core — it's warehouse operations. Success begins by creating a fluid strategy that fits your business, challenges and strengths.
Now you are probably thinking, “Who has time to rethink warehouse strategy?” Well, with the right tools and these 5 steps, you do.
5 Steps that deliver warehouse productivity
Step 1 – Know what you have to work with
Look at how your current daily operation functions. Map out the warehouse floor (to scale). Record the floorplan with equipment in place, storage, and inventory. Note where seasonal inventory is stored and where loading and unloading of product takes place.
Step 2 – Evaluate inventory planning and placement
Your inventory management system should predict seasonal stock needs, and it should determine the optimal location to store fast turn-over inventory.
Organize inventory based on the frequency it’s needed to fulfill orders. Consider the ease of getting it from point A to point B and storage requirements due to size and traffic flow. Factor inventory turnover rates and seasonal product demand when estimating inventory needs.
Step 3 – Look for areas with opportunity for improvement
You can’t improve operations unless you identify your challenges. Where are the weak links in your warehouse processes and actions? What is the root cause of these issues?
- Evaluate KPIs and determine which are off target.
- Drill down to the who, what, where and why a KPI is below expectation.
- Use telematic insight to provide details you may normally overlook — for example, are operators completing preventative maintenance on lift-trucks?.
- Determine the most efficient and practical solution.
Step 4 – Determine if upgrades are needed
Looking closely at productivity may tell you that new, telematic monitoring technology would be beneficial as your business grows. New technology is an investment, but it can reduce costs over time and improve opportunities to earn higher profits.
Analyze the benefits of a telematic software upgrade. How much time and money could you save if you had instant insight to help avoid costly mistakes, impacts, and operational challenges before they occur?
Also, look at profitability per customer. How much could you gain if you could successfully grow business over the next 12-18 months?
Step 5 – Keep your plan fluid
KPIs are always a work in progress. Proper facility management means crafting a plan that you fully intend on adjusting, as needed, to deliver results. The key is knowing what is working well and what is not. Once you identify your challenges, telematic insight can tell you exactly what actions are required to reach your improvement goals.