Setting goals for warehouse improvement is like joining a gym to lose weight: you must follow through with action in order to obtain the desired results. But, unlike exercise, warehouse improvement doesn’t have to make you sweat.
If your warehouse struggles to keep up with current inventory demands and expedited delivery, here are a few key things to focus on.
Make 2020 a year for warehouse improvement
1. Upgrades to telematics software to facilitate smoother warehouse operations
Devices that leverage the IoT may be the difference between thriving or just surviving in 20020. Today’s telematics software platforms deliver a high level of ROI because they facilitate greater speed and accuracy with orders and boost efficiency across an entire enterprise. Product movement in the warehouse must be able to keep pace with demand.
2. Right-sizing the fleet before, during, and after peak periods of demand
Optimize your fleet to determine exactly how many trucks your operation requires. Determining this doesn’t have to be time consuming if your fleet monitoring software reports on “simultaneous utilization,” which provides a complete picture of forklift utilization in your facility, delivering data that highlights trends and patterns in forklift and operator usage.
3. Increasing control over inventory and product movement
Online sales were projected to surpass $560.7 billion in 2019, and are expected to grow to more than $700 billion by 2022. About 80% of companies think they deliver great service, but only 8% of customers believe they have received great service.
Being able to track the movement of product through each step of the supply chain is especially important with the requirements of e-commerce. A facility must balance speed and accuracy. Managers should be able to pinpoint the exact location of product with all the steps of order fulfillment documented.
- Replacing hand scanning with auto scanning can increase speed, accuracy and productivity. Auto scanning can acquire a barcode and scan it instantly. As multiple trucks make thousands of scans over multiple shifts, benefits quickly accrue when seconds are shaved off each scan.
4. Identify potential hazards for workers in your facility
The most obvious route for forklift traffic may not be the optimal choice when it comes to speed and safety. Forklift-monitoring systems can determine if the current routing is efficient, if accidents or near-misses are slowing things down, or if some lift-trucks have extended periods of sitting idle waiting for aisle traffic to clear.
- The often overlooked “safety checklist” is a valuable tool in protecting forklift operators, equipment, and foot traffic in the warehouse. It should be required before any forklift is used. With this feature, telematic vehicle lock-out/tag-out is key to prevent operation of any forklift that fails its safety checklist and poses a safety risk.
The ability to better manage warehouse growth and increased demand is an obtainable goal that doesn’t have to feel like you’re running on the treadmill for the first time in years. Upgrades to technology and software within your facility can quickly deliver actionable insight that eliminates inefficiencies and facilitates warehouse improvement in the coming year.