Everything that happens in the warehouse is under the umbrella of warehouse management. From receiving to shipping, storing and manufacturing, everything that occurs is the responsibility of warehouse management. With people problems, workload management, staffing, training, safety, there’s no end to the list of things warehouse management needs to take care of.
The main goal of warehouse management is not only to accomplish all these subgoals, but its primary directive is to ensure and enhance the flow of products through the warehouse. Whether this means finding new ways to store inventory or utilizing new technology at your workstations, the prime objective of warehouse management is to improve the overall effectiveness of the warehouse.
Orases is ready to help you implement your next project in the warehouse. Anything from ordering to shipping is on the table. Orases is ready to help, and with years of experience in the industry, there’s no warehouse too specialized or too outdated. Call Orases to find out what they can do to help make your warehouse even more successful.
Strategies For Improving Warehouse Management
There are a few great examples of successful warehouses, and manufacturing facilities that have led managers to compile a list of must-haves when it comes to warehouse management. These golden rules are great tickets to improving your granular issues day-to-day, but also, they are proven solutions to unsticking the most stuck of warehouses. If you find yourself unable to make progress, these tips will lead the way.
1. Get Out On The Floor
The fact of manufacturing is that the money is getting made out there on the factory floor, not in the office, so the best thing you can do when assessing changes you need to make in warehouse management is to go out and see the warehouse operations.
Bring a pencil and paper, and note everything you see. Observe anything that doesn’t align with your vision or with common practice, and ask why. Talk with employees or operators; it’s critical to get firsthand perspectives from people working in these systems daily, and they’ll surely have the most helpful feedback for you.
Build a relationship with your warehouse. If people know who you are, they’ll know that you’re a person who can make positive changes to their daily work, and your employees will feel empowered to speak up. Unfortunately, there’s always something you’ll be missing from a desk. No one deliberately tries to hide it, but gaps exist on the floor; it’s just the reality of the situation. The best thing you can do is be present and interact with the workforce and the system. This creates a clear path of communication, and gives you the firsthand perspective of seeing it in action.
2. Manage Inventory
The process of managing inventory has everything to do with the product and supplies used in the warehouse. That means everything from monitoring stock levels to understanding what work is in progress and when it will leave the warehouse. You also need to know what inventory you have ready to ship and make it available to your clients. Also, under the umbrella of inventory management is tracking your products as they are shipped.
The next great benefit of granular inventory management is the ability to project future demand. This allows you to link your internal supply state with the future demand, so you’re never short on stock. For warehouses and manufacturing, you never want to stay the same. In the future, you’d like to see more inventory moving through the warehouse, maybe even more locations, and without proper inventory management, you’ll never be able to manage it all.
3. Picking And Packing
Picking and packing are the two most common and essential tasks performed in any warehouse. A successful warehouse management system generates a list of inventory to be picked for every picker, every shift. This is then given to each employee, who retrieves the inventory and delivers it to the packers.
You should optimize this list based on location, product size, order size, and more. These factors are easy to overlook, but a good system can bring all these factors together to optimize the warehouse picking and packing strategy.
4. Storing And Receiving
All warehouses receive inventory. By air, land, or sea, inventory arrives at the warehouse, and it needs a place to land. Based on the inventory, should this delivery be placed in long-term storage or short-term storage? Your warehouse management system has the answer to that. Maybe an order needs to be started tomorrow, and this shipment is critical to the order. Without a warehouse management system masterminding the operation, simple mistakes can become costly. With a simple scan, your operators know exactly where to put the new inventory; no questions asked.
With inventory management, picking and packing, storing inbound shipments, and tracking, we’ve covered the life cycle of a product inside the warehouse. With a warehouse management system, it’s simple to take the data we’ve been interacting with at every step of the process and turn it into valuable reports for the organization.
Your operators that scanned the inventory at each point have now given you a time stamp for where a given piece was in your system. You can now look at metrics, like pieces processed per hour or orders fulfilled each week. This sort of reporting is a huge win for managers and upper management. It eliminates tons of handwritten logs and reinforces the warehouse management system itself by validating the data.
It’s important to stay updated with modern technology that can change how you work. Technology helps in many ways to automate and improve business processes. However, there’s often a part of the job that is overly demanding physically or includes high risk, such as retrieving inventory from storage or working near heat sources.
Robotics is not just a tool to automate people’s jobs; it can greatly improve the livelihood of the employees and operators. It also reduces the human variables in the process to make the job more predictable.
Adding robotics is a pipe dream for many warehouses, but the costs are often outweighed by the money you would save in the future. The addition of robotics is often critical to meet demand and scale with the business needs.
If robotics sounds like it’s too technical for your team at the moment, consider talking to Orases. Implementing scanning and warehouse management is the key to the whole process, but the professionals at Orases are available for consultation on many technology and other project topics. Don’t be shy; ask Orases today.
7. Cloud Innovations
For many businesses, hosting a server for their warehouse management system to run is simply out of the question. A fantastic solution millions are taking advantage of is cloud-based solutions for warehouse management systems. Cloud-based warehouse management programs allow you to only pay for the features you want and the time you spend using the system.
You can pay a monthly or annual membership fee for what best suits your needs and team size. Then, it’s as simple as a few button clicks to upgrade your cloud machine or enable new features you want to have on your system.
These tech companies work day and night to keep their systems secure and online, so you won’t have to pay a full-time IT team to help keep your warehouse management system online. Of course, many warehouses would never have been able to implement such successful solutions without cloud-based hosting options.
8. AI Solutions
AI is everywhere. Using advanced algorithms, programs can revolutionize supply chain processes, decision-making, and even scheduling. AI technology looks at patterns and trends to predict future events, often with a probability of the event happening.
Bringing AI into your warehouse management system will free your workforce to do more complicated tasks while the AI system gets to work on more simple tasks. If you’re looking for solutions to help you scale into a global company, you need to begin considering what machine learning and AI solutions you can use to get a leg up on your competitors.
Learn More About Orases’ Custom Warehouse Management Solutions
There are many things you can do to improve your warehouse management. With hands-on experience on the floor, you’ll understand the workers’ lives inside the warehouse and quickly see what systems are not operating up to standards or maybe places where there’s waste or just have room for improvement.
There’s no shortage of benefits to implementing a warehouse management solution. At every point in the product life cycle, you gain security, data, data quality, and ease of use. Your employees will also love the scanning capability and the ease of getting information they need at a moment’s notice.
As a business owner, you should constantly be looking to modern technology and successful business cases to lead the way. Innovators at companies like Orases can give you the boost to quickly become more flexible and capable as a warehouse or manufacturing facility. It’s totally normal for your teams to be busy with work at the warehouse; there’s always work to do. If you can’t make time to implement these tips for better warehouse management, just reach out to Orases. They can bring you from 0 to 100, and their solution is guaranteed to leave you impressed.