The following are 3 main principles to remember when updating or planning the layout of your warehouse:

Flow – which is the uninterrupted movement of traffic, people, and materials inside your building.

Accessibility – which means all products on pallets and every product should be accessible to everyone, normally without needing to move a product in order to access another one.

Space – which means the maximum amount of warehouse space that you can afford, which takes into consideration battery charging, empty pallet storage, working areas, offices, stock, storage, etc.  

Make Use Of Warehouse Racking Organization

This method stores inventory vertically rather than horizontally, like on a pallet rack.

It is a cost-effective way of maximizing your warehouse space when you carry lots of energy or have a small warehouse and cannot afford to purchase additional space.

With vertical racks you also have more floor space for forklifts as well as other truck to move around your warehouse easily, I added to additional space for safety stock inventory and extra employee work areas.

Use ABC Analysis For Setting Up Your Warehouse Inventory

Setting Up Your Warehouse Inventory

This inventory sorting method divides up your inventory into three categories based on how much it costs to hold and how well the items sell:

A-Items Top-selling items that don’t take up all of your cost or warehouse space  

B-Items Mid-range items that might cost more to hold than A-items but sell regularly

C-Items The remainder of your inventory making up the majority of your inventory costs yet contributes the least to your overall bottom line

One way to apply Pareto’s 80/20 principle is ABC analysis of inventory. Usually, most of your profits will come from around 20% of your overall inventory.

After your inventory is grouped into ABC categories, get your pick and pack area arrange so that your employees have the easiest access first to A SKUs, and then B SKUs, and lastly C SKUs.

Make Sure Your Warehouse Kept Clean

Clutter inside your warehouse the greater the likelihood of accidents and safety hazards, along with reductions in productivity.  

Beyond that, a dirty and disorganized warehouse can result in obsolete inventory – which increases the cost of your inventory.

On the other hand, an orderly warehouse will increase your throughput and efficiency, while also potentially making improvements to your lead times as well.

Label Warehouse Inventory

Label Warehouse Inventory

Employees should not have to rely on their memories when looking for items inside of your warehouse.  Each SKY in your inventory needs to be clearly labeled so that it can be easily identified.

Make sure your labeling is consistent with each item (i.e. always labeling the bottom right corner on boxes) and make sure all of the necessary information is included on each label, like:

  • SKU
  • Product name
  • Date
  • Size
  • Color
  • Etc.

For easy stocktaking and quick scanning, think about using RFID barcodes.

Make It Easy To Receive Inventory

Effectively receiving inventory is a key warehouse management tip since it helps to set the tone for the remainder of your inventory and warehouse process.  If that is screwed up, then everything else will end up screwed up also.

The following are a couple of ways that you can make improvements to your inventory receiving:  

Get your receiving space optimized by providing enough space and the proper tools so that your employees can efficiently sort and store your incoming inventory.  

Make sure your receiving space is kept organized and clean by removing clutter and put all tools away after they are used.

Track your inventory in real-time through getting a perpetual inventory system implemented to reduce incorrect shipments, missing inventory, and reduce discounts.  Hire a quality control manager to monitor your quality control to reduce inventory damage, point out any problematic procedures and watch for mistakes.

Unload received inventory safely and quickly through using the right machines (i.e. conveyor belts and forklifts( and through adhering to clear safety procedures.

Verify the goods that you receive through using metrics like batch tracking numbers, product code, and description of goods, to avoid shipping the wrong products to your customers.

Review Your Warehouse Organizational System On A Regular Basis

To improve the organization of your warehouse on a continual basis, you need to continuously review all of your warehouse operations.  

From the effectiveness of policies to flow of processes to placement of equipment, you should verify on a regular basis that your warehouse space is being maximized and the productivity of your employees is being improved.

By formalizing a “checking in” policy with your organization and warehouse systems, it will allow you to identify problems quickly in the processes that might damage your bottom line over the long-term if they are not addressed.

Bonus Tip For Warehouse Organization: Utilize Cloud-Based Inventory Management

This type of inventory management will help your warehouse be kept organized automatically.

It will enable you to know exactly where your items are stored for fast retrieval, organize your inventory based on ABC categories or another system, and implement barcode technology easily.

In addition, if you have multiple warehouses to manage and you are unable to oversee them all at the same time, a cloud-based inventory management system provides you with a bird’s eye view of each of your warehouses and its activities on your computer, no matter where you happen to be

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