A productive warehouse is an income-generating warehouse that allows businesses to save valuable resources, such as time and money. The business moves faster, revenues are higher, and the costs are spread across different activities, resulting in happier customers.
Considering how essential warehouse productivity is, we’ve compiled six actionable techniques to help you boost yours. Use the information below as your reference or guide to ensure that your warehouse and its employees perform at their best.
6 Tips About How To Boost Warehouse Productivity
1. Prioritize Employee Comfort
Warehouse work can be stressful, which is why it’s important to focus on the comfort of your employees. It’ll be challenging for them to complete orders if they’re uncomfortable at work.
Invest in workplace ergonomics to ensure employees produce better quality work and improve their overall well-being. To achieve that goal, have employees store items strategically, let them use machine assistance (such as bubble wrap dispensers, self-leveling lift tables, and tilted pick trays), and improve employee training.
Providing sufficient air conditioning units and a soft floor to reduce foot pains and giving them access to a kitchen and rest area also helps. Play music during working hours as studies show that this can improve productivity.
2. Offer An Incentive Program
Your employees play a vital role when it comes to running a productive warehouse. If you’re not currently offering any incentive program to them, it’s high time that you do.
You can choose from different incentive programs for your warehouse employees: you can offer paid time off, financial bonuses, or tickets and vacations. Highlighting your best employees on your company’s social media profiles or websites also helps boost their morale.
Whatever incentive program you decide to settle on, aim to make it visual. If the program runs every month, prepare a chart, indicating the target line and actual line of work to give employees a reminder on how they can get rewards at the end.
3. Implement A Feedback Mechanism
The shopfloor workforce are the first people to identify issues that impact the efficiency of the warehouse. Whether they raise the concern or not depends on how connected or engaged they feel with the warehouse management functions.
Without any mechanisms for sharing feedback in place, your employees will likely hold back and won’t communicate about any work-related issues.
Preventing this issue is easy — sometimes, all it needs is a manager to foster team communication or an open-door policy. This approach will encourage employees to communicate openly about their concerns.
You can also implement something more formal, like a weekly sit-down between the managers and their teams. Regardless of the system you decide to put in place, you need to encourage feedback from employees to identify issues and improve your warehouse productivity.
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4. Optimize All Available Space
Running out of warehouse space can cause bigger problems, such as unpreparedness for seasonal demands, unsatisfactory order management, and frustrated customers. Storage is critical for the success of your warehouse, so make sure to optimize all available space.
Instead of expanding the footprint of your warehouse, use vertical space. Adding taller storage units and investing in the right equipment to store and pick materials also help maximize the square footage of your warehouse.
Additionally, consider using different types of shelving. Using the same shelving for different items wastes space and makes it easy to misplace or even damage items. Using standardized bins also keeps shelves orderly and neat, making it easier for employees to find items.
5. Embrace Enabling Technology
Technology has significantly improved businesses, including warehouse operations. Today, you can invest in different apps and software to make the lives of your warehouse employees easier.
One of the most common technologies you can use is a Warehouse Management System or WMS.
This system suggests the best methods and routes for put-away, as well as providing automated pick lists that can be sent to devices to reduce wasted paper and minimize mistakes. As a result, your warehouse will be greener and neater.
Using Radio Frequency Identification or RFID readers also reduces picking errors and improves the overall efficiency of warehouse transactions. In fact, research shows that using RFID can increase warehouse inventory accuracy by up to 27% in just 13 weeks.
6. Standardize Workflows
Every process for moving items within the warehouse — from the moment they enter to the time they go out — should follow an established workflow. Without one, employees will choose to work using a method that’s only efficient for them but not efficient for the business.
Automated workflows are a must as it guarantees employees follow the same standards when working.
It also enables you to assess employee performance against the benchmark set for a specific segment of the workflow. In this way, bottlenecks can be identified and resolved ASAP.
Use The Right Strategies
Ensure a productive warehouse by implementing all of these strategies consistently. As long as done correctly, these strategies can cause your warehouse productivity rates to soar.
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