While warehouse inventory management is about arranging inventory so it can be found quickly, it’s also about maximizing productivity for labor costs savings and increasing inventory accuracy. Yes, there are plenty of good software products available in all price ranges that help improve accuracy and the flow of goods, but there some best practices that should be applied to any warehouse operation. Here’s a look at some of them.
Plan Your Space
Your space must be well organized to move goods smoothly and efficiently throughout the warehouse. This also means you should plan every inch of your warehouse to maximize storage. Revamping the racks, adding a mezzanine, removing excess or unwanted inventory are some of the ways you can gain extra storage space. Your space must also be adequate so that forklifts and other machines can move around in them.
Avoid Mixing SKUs
Having various SKUs in a single bin to save space will likely cause costlier time penalties in the long run.
Track Best Sellers
Place your high volume (best-selling) items closer to the shipping area and so that they are easily accessible. This will eliminate steps and unnecessary labor.
Get Slow Moving Items Out of the Way
Inventory that is not used or sold occupies precious space, utilizes costly labor and resources, runs the risk of obsolescence, and can actually get in the way of your good seller. Consider putting them on clearance, donating them to thrift stores, or selling them to and off-price retailers.
Use signs and labels to direct your personnel through your warehouse and so they can easily and quickly find inventory. Labels make it easier for pickers to select the right items and will reduce errors as well.
Have Ample Space for Receiving
A cramped receiving area can be the cause of many errors. Make sure your receiving employees have enough space to work.
Forecast Inventory Demand
Forecasting of inventory demand based on historical trends should be part of your warehouse management process. And while every business has its unique seasonal demand, stock levels should ideally be maintained at 1.5 times the average use of the product in demand to avoid tying up your working capital.
Make Time for Housekeeping
Ensure your crew has time to clean up after they finish order processing and before their shift ends. Allocate some time before the end of the day specifically for cleaning and reorganizing so that the next day does not start in disarray.
Next Level understands the impact of operational costs on any size business and we are committed to helping customers increase efficiency and profitability through lower material expenditures and cost-efficient design solutions. Connect with us today to get started on organizing and optimizing your facility!