A properly managed warehouse will always be a pleasure to behold. It will also be a valuable asset for the business that depends upon it, instead of a source of excessive trouble and expense, like so many others are.
Unfortunately, many warehousing operations end up succumbing to at least a couple, especially common pitfalls. A quick look at how these frequently troublesome issues arise and how best to overcome them, though, will make it clear that accessible, effective solutions can always be found.
Even the Best of Warehousing Intentions are Not Always Enough
Well over a million people now work in the American warehousing industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these are highly trained, experienced professionals who bring a lot more than mere physical ability to the table.
Even so, many warehouses suffer from problems that could be avoided if they were set up and managed more strategically and effectively. In quite a few cases, these troubles can persist for years if efforts are not undertaken to address the root causes. The five such types of problems that are most frequently seen in warehouses today concern important issues like:
Surprisingly many warehouse managers and others do a poor job of keeping accurate inventories of stock. The single most common reason for this is a reliance on overly mistake-prone inventorying processes. One source reports that nearly half of all accuracy-related problems can be attributed to simple human error. Automated replacements for manual processes tend to reduce the number of related mistakes, as can well-design safeguards.
Every warehouse should be set up from the start so as to encourage efficiency, safety, and other important goals. Unfortunately, many warehouses are held back by poorly considered layouts that actively make operations more difficult. A strategically designed warehouse layout will make many problems less likely to arise.
Products or supplies should always be placed sensibly and productively given a warehouse’s layout and typical workflows. Having the right type of pallet rack positioned in an especially suitable place will help keep activity organized appropriately and minimize the likelihood of clashes, jams, and other issues.
While stocking, handling, and inventorying are always important, picking probably gives rise to more problems than any other type of warehousing activity. Once again, simple human error is usually the culprit, with a lack of information most often being involved. It will always be helpful to ensure that pickers have access not only to the data they need but also tools that minimize the odds of errors.
Even warehouses which are generally regarded as efficient often conceal at least a fair amount of procedural or material redundancy. Scheduling regular audits of operations so as to identify any such sources of waste will always be a wise investment.
Simple Steps Toward a Better Warehousing Operation
While problems like these are common in the warehousing industry, they can often be addressed without much difficulty or expense. In most cases, simply being well positioned to identify such troubles will also tend to make the most suitable solutions clear. A warehouse that does benefit from a commitment to continual improvement will always end up running more smoothly and efficiently, as a result.