When it comes to warehouse inventory management, small changes can have a big impact. You don’t necessarily need to overhaul the whole system to see an increase in productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Implementing these 5 tips for effective warehouse inventory management can make all the difference.
1. Design the Space
There are several things to consider as you are designing the warehouse space for maximum effectiveness. One thing to consider is placement of frequently ordered stock. Keeping your top-selling products in distant areas of the warehouse will require unnecessary time and effort from your warehouse employees. This also applies to commonly used items. If employees are needing to spend excess time retrieving items necessary to assist in fulfilling orders, efficiency goes down.
2. Prioritize Safety
A safer warehouse is a more effective warehouse. A warehouse with fewer incidents is able to continue running without stops for incidents making it more efficient. Ensure employees receive proper training to follow all of the safety protocols in place. Additionally, make sure employees are properly trained on how to use all the necessary equipment in the warehouse to avoid accidents. It is also important to keep safety in mind when designing the warehouse space to help decrease the chances of an accident occurring. One thing to consider is keeping people and vehicle transport paths separate to decrease the chance of accidents.
Take time to plan ahead for stocking and staffing needs. Know when your busy seasons are and be sure you have ordered stock in time and properly staffed the warehouse before these heavy volume seasons. Understaffing can lead to overworked and tired employees which will reduce efficiency and effectiveness.
4. Utilize Information Technology
Implementing a warehouse inventory management software has a number of benefits to help improve the effectiveness of your inventory management. First of all, a robust software program will provide you with pertinent data which will allow you to streamline your efforts and make more informed decisions. This software system can help with management by allowing you to record inventory, manage the location and movement of stock, and track shipments
5. Implement the 5S Method
Created by Toyota Motor Company, this is a workplace organization method that uses five Japanese words to help increase safety, efficiency and effectiveness: seiri, seiton, seisō, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Translated:
-Sort – Remove unnecessary things from the warehouse
-Set in order – Create a specific place for everything
-Shine – Keep the work area clean
-Standardize – Identify and standardize best practices in the warehouse
-Sustain – Don’t backslide into old practices