In the material handling industry, it is of paramount importance for companies to ensure their warehouses are running as smoothly as possible. Efficiency and organization in every aspect of the business is essential in order to keep or gain a competitive advantage. Here are some of the most common warehousing problems and some tips that will help in overcoming them.
Problem: Insufficient Warehouse Space
Space is a premium, especially in the high-rent district around metropolitan areas. Providing an adequate amount of storage space and the correct planning of a warehouse is vital for the smooth running of a business. Disorganized warehouse spaces can cause unnecessary labor costs and poor workflow. The incorrect use of storage systems and racking arrangements result in many companies finding their warehouse shelves full, with no space to receive new inventory.
- Keeping the fastest moving inventory in the front of the warehouse, where it is readily available, can save you a great deal of time by reducing travel in the warehouse.
- Employing narrow aisle equipment instead of counterbalanced machinery can increase your warehouse storage capacities. Narrow Aisle Reach trucks can increase warehouse storage by up to 30% and Very Narrow Aisle Turret trucks can increase storage by as much as 60% .
- Take advantage of professional companies that offer engineering and warehouse design services to complete a site evaluation. This will allow you to gain space by using the best equipment for your application and help ensure you are able to maximize storage space utilization.
Problem: Slow Picking Processes and Stock Discrepancies
Every moment spent on each inventory item adds up over the course of a day, ultimately having a major impact on operating costs. When inventory is not organized and easily available, order pickers will take longer to find items that need to be shipped. This can ultimately lead to a backup in labor.
- Bar code technology eliminates multiple processes and human handling. Accurately tracking inventory will minimize any discrepancies and increase efficiency when order picking. Furthermore, employing handheld scanners to scan barcodes ensures that inventory is correctly identified at the time with minimal data entry errors.
- Sequenced order picking is another good idea. It provides employees with a picking list, which sequences the visits to each picking location in the warehouse, so overall travel time is minimized. With a more planned order picking process, there also will be less wear and tear on your equipment along with a reduction in labor costs and time.
Problem: Warehouse Slotting Problems
This is a big issue! Forklift operators often make multiple trips around the warehouse searching for slots in the storage racking for new inventory. This results in them slotting the pallet of inventory wherever they find an empty space. Since the pallet family and size is not carefully considered in its allocation, you will eventually find a large amount of inventory slotted in an unorganized manner, with no room to reorganize due to limited warehouse space.
- Pre-planning and organization can prevent a warehouse from becoming disorganized by identifying the most efficient location for all inventory, factoring in the products storage characteristics, family and supply needs.
- Think about your storage and racking systems for your warehouse needs and layouts. There are multiple storage solution including mobile racking, cantilever racking, double deep racking and drive in racking.
Remember, the goal is to minimize handling, optimize the utilization of space, and increase efficiency! Partner with an experienced material handling supplier to help tackle your warehousing problems.