Improving your warehouse efficiency Improving efficiency and reducing costs – it puts a smile on our faces and it’s something that every warehouse manager wants to achieve. The best part, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Whilst you may attempt to reduce costs by using second hand pallet racking, logistical and safety issues can arise from this. If an employee is injured, not only will you lose the savings you made by buying second-hand racking, but if your employee requires time off, that’s your efficiency gone too.

On the other hand, sure, automated robots can run 24-hours a day, but they are going to cost big. Additionally, without the right balance of human workers to ensure the robots are working efficiently, it’s Terminator waiting to happen, right? 

In this post, we’ll run through a few ways you can reduce costs and improve the efficiency of your warehouse.

1.      First Things First - Review Your Processes

One weak link in your chain and the whole process suffers. Analyse your process to find room for efficiencies, are you making the most of your space? Is your warehouse using the best drop off and loading process? Do you have enough storage for surplus products – maybe you have an excess or storage space?

Rather than just looking at it from a management point of view, talk to your employees and team leaders to find out where they think room for efficiency lies in their relevant roles and departments.

2.      Keep It Safe

Nothing is as inefficient and costlier than an unsafe warehouse. In 2015/6, there were 4.5 million working days lost due to workplace injury, around 20% of these were manual handling related injuries and 19% from slips and trips – we understand that some injuries are unpreventable, but there are several things you can do to keep these numbers down.

Here’s a couple of our top tips for keeping your warehouse an injury free-zone

  • Ensure your employees receive proper training relevant to their role
  • Keep your warehouse well-lit and save the planet whilst you’re at it with LED lighting
  • Ensure the relevant safety equipment is worn at all times
  • Always use safe lifting techniques for manual handling
  • Promote awareness of the potential hazards in your warehouse to employees
  • Correctly zone out hazardous areas of your warehouse with floor markers

 3.      Make the Most of The Space Already Available

The layout of the warehouse is one of the most important factors in keeping it efficient and ensuring that your warehouses’ layout maximises productivity ensuring more work gets done.

If you’re certain your layout is optimal and think you’ve reached the maximum space in your warehouse, look up! Rather than spend on costly expansions to your warehouse, make better use of your vertical space.

There are several products designed to make the most of existing space, for example, narrow aisle pallet racking systems and multi-tier mezzanine floors that allow up to 3 floors - effectively trebling your workspace.

4.      Consider Introducing Automated Technologies

New technologies are constantly being developed to increase efficiency in the warehouse, ensuring you stay on the lookout for advancements in these new methods keeps you competitive and gives you the opportunity to be at the forefront of warehouse efficiency. 

This doesn’t mean replacing your entire workforce with automated machines, but incorporating this technology into your existing workforce to do tasks that can be competently and more efficiently done by automated technology, these could include, picking, storage configuration and packaging.

5.      Keep Your Employees Happy

The key to a truly efficient warehouse is a happy one and job satisfaction has a direct correlation with motivation and output of work. Here are a few ideas for keeping your employees happy in the warehouse:

  • Implement equipment and methods to improve processes
  • Offer incentives, this could include bonus schemes, employee of the month rewards and team days out
  • Provide the correct training for employees to do their jobs competently and confidently
  • Openly take and implement feedback from employees

Talk to The Experts

So there you have it, increasing your warehouse efficiency doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your costs. If you need a hand getting your warehouse up to scratch, we can help. Whether it’s inspections, new pallet racking systems to maximise your space or information on how to keep your workers safe; give us a call on 01179 555 211.