In the world of procurement, your company is only going to be viewed as a highly effective supply chain partner if you can regularly make your shipments on time. That requires you to make sure that everything coming into your warehouse is cycled out again as quickly as possible. This effort is often difficult to uphold consistently over a long timeline, and as such, you need to continually work on it.
How can you do that? The following tips should help:
1) Take a top-down look at your organization
First and foremost, it's vital to ensure that you are operating effectively to set yourself up for long-term success when it comes to keeping warehouse operations streamlined, according to F. Curtis Barry & Company. This isn't easy, but you would be wise to turn over every stone that makes up your organization and see if that individual aspect of the larger structure is aligned to boost productivity. If not, it's time to think about what you can do to improve.
2) Look at your supply chain
Of course, there are also plenty of things that affect your turnaround times that are at least somewhat outside your control, so you need to be in constant communication with your supply chain partners, F. Curtis Barry & Company advised. With a more open, ongoing dialog and plans to share critical operational data, it becomes easier to predict shipments and, in turn, make your own operations more efficient.
3) Rearrange your storage
One part of internal efficiency that is often overlooked is how your warehouse is physically laid out, according to Randex. Simply put, the way you arranged the space initially might have been ideal three or four years ago, but as your operation has grown and changed since then, your floor plan might have stayed the same. Can you rearrange to find new areas of efficiency?
4) Stagger your shifts
An issue many warehouses that have multiple shifts inevitably encounter is that when they change over from one to the next, there is an inevitable loss of efficiency that really adds up, Randex added. If you can do more to ensure that workers are coming in on a staggered basis over the course of a few hours as others leave, it becomes easier to maintain a higher level of cohesive work.
5) Communicate more effectively
Just as it's important to stay in touch with your supply chain partners, the same is also true of your employees, according to Wonolo. If you do not have an effective internal communications system, you may be losing more efficiency than you realize. Now is the time to examine whether this aspect of your operations is as effective as it needs to be.
6) Review your operations regularly
Finally, even if you institute all these changes and seem to be a well-oiled machine as a result, you can't afford to rest on your laurels, Wonolo said. The kind of review you conduct initially should also be the kind you follow through on every once in a while to make sure everything keeps moving in the desired direction.