Managing supply chains and warehouse operations are two challenges that never get easier. However, there are proven ways to efficiently track and manage forklift warehouses. The keys to success for any warehouse operations are efficiency and productivity through cutting edge information management systems. Here are four solutions to better track and control your warehouse’s equipment inventory.
Utilize Real-Time Technologies
To better reach business goals and support warehouse improvements, managers can collect and analyze real-time data to create more efficient processes. This requires a warehouse management system (WMS) that hopefully is integrated with the ERP or supply chain management systems. Warehouse management system help decision makers track incoming and outgoing shipments as well as inventory levels and product returns. Once managers are comfortable and familiar with the warehouse management system, they can use it to maximize system throughput and performance while also minimizing waste and inefficiency. Warehouse management systems can logically assess product layouts and recommend ideal placement locations and replenishment techniques.
Monitor Warehouse Inventory Levels
Major corporations like Wal-Mart expects suppliers to monitor stock levels and match price changes while also maintaining accountability. Outsourcing these responsibilities to vendors is great because this saves time and money, but this solution is not ideal for small to medium sized warehouses. Instead, they can simply use their warehouse management system to access real-time views of inventory levels and warehouse order statuses. Warehouse management systems allow users to create customized reports that will identify logistical lags, labor bottlenecks and shipment delays. This will help sales staff to see which orders are being picked, which ones are being staged for shipment and which ones are late.
Strategically Organize Warehouses
Organizing an overcrowded warehouse requires policies, structure and standard procedures. This is critical because failure to fully utilize available space will result in inefficient workflows and product shipment delays. Slow or unpopular items should be appropriate stored out of the way in order to maximize spaces for product staging and stuffing containers. Productive warehouses will have clearly designated isles, staging spaces and inventory zones. Warehouse space is often taken up by rejected or returned materials that are not processed. Warehouse staff usually avoids these products because they are troublesome or confusing. However, these items must be efficiently processed back into inventory or shipped elsewhere. Empowering sales staff to sell rejected items will increase turnaround times and save space.
A fourth and final way to streamline warehouse processes is to better cross train employees on key functions, which will increase their teamwork, productivity and operational readiness.