If you're on a mission to upscale your warehouse, you probably have a lot of questions. The good news is that you aren't in it alone. Every part of your organization — from your equipment to your staff — can be an invaluable resource in your journey to grow, change and improve. All you have to do is make sure you're utilizing and empowering them appropriately.
Here are seven best practices for upscaling your warehouse:
1) Utilize AI solutions
Artificial intelligence may be your most powerful tool when it comes to warehouse upscaling. AI can automate tasks across your warehouse, saving time and energy for bigger responsibilities. It also creates consistent results, minimizing the risk of human error.
2) Get employees in on improvements
To successfully upscale your warehouse, you need buy-in from your stakeholders — and in this case, that means your workers. They will be on the front lines of every change, solution or big improvement, so make sure they're empowered to help you take big steps forward.
3) Optimize workstations
According to Supply Management by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, one simple way to improve warehouse performance is to optimize workstations. When your staff know where to find every tool, how best to operate every machine and all the smartest ways to reduce error, they'll be able to work quickly and confidently. This, in turn, gives your warehouse the strength and resiliency necessary to grow.
4) Stay ahead of safety
As your warehouse becomes larger and more intricate, so too will your safety concerns. Upscaling requires plenty of time spent on reviewing and improving procedures, methods and guidelines for employee well-being. This doesn't just minimize growing pains — it also helps you feel more comfortable adopting new approaches.
5) Invest in top-of-the-line equipment
According to the GWP Group, another best practice for warehouse improvement is to invest time and money in choosing the best equipment. Having the right tools for the job — no matter how large or small — is an important step in upscaling your warehouse. This helps make sure you see results, but it also keeps employees from scrambling to complete tasks for which they're unequipped.
6) Try "cross docking"
Another tip from the GWP Group is to try "cross docking." This is a procedure you can employ when many of your deliveries are bound for other locations. It refers to the practice of unloading items from one truck and loading them directly into the next, limiting the time and space you use handling anything that is still in transit. If you find cross docking works for you, it could free up plenty of resources for your upscaling endeavors.
7) Create actionable goals
If your goals are too lofty, you and your employees may feel frustrated when it's impossible to make any significant progress. Instead, keep your warehouse upscaling journey on track by setting actionable, achievable goals. While your overall idea of success may be to grow your warehouse, your individual goals should be small steps to help you get there. For example, one may be to cut extra steps out of your workflow, while another may be to update your warehouse management software.