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Effective Ways to Increase Warehouse Workflow Efficiency

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Effective Ways to Increase Warehouse Workflow Efficiency

Effective Ways to Increase Warehouse Workflow Efficiency 

Having a warehouse with a good workflow is an important thing that can be done to maintain customer satisfaction. 

Inefficient warehouse activities can lead to inaccurate and sluggish delivery of goods. In addition, increasing warehouse efficiency can help reduce operating costs, which will certainly have an impact on business profits.

Then, how do you make your warehouse workflow run more efficiently? Check out some of the tips below:

1. Maximize & Optimize Space

There are several ways you can do if you want to expand your warehouse. One of them is by optimizing the use of vertical space better. Adding a higher storage unit with the right equipment for picking up and storing items can help store more items, rather than adding to the cost of expanding or moving to a new location.

2. Apply Lean Inventory

Most manufacturers tend to use lean manufacturing as part of an effort to improve the manufacturing process and reduce overall operating costs. 

Adopting lean inventory for warehouses means using only what is needed, and nothing more. For example, by making smaller orders more frequently so there is no need to stockpile inventory.

3. Optimizing Labor Productivity

Optimizing workforce productivity can be done either through automation or employee incentives. Labor tends to be the biggest operational expense in the company. Therefore, we need to understand what can affect the level of labor productivity.

4. Standardization and Workflow Audit

Companies need to have a good workflow and according to standards, starting from the process of goods arriving at the warehouse until the goods are shipped. 

With standardized workflows, we can ensure that every employee can perform their activities according to the same standards. Then, we can monitor and evaluate the performance of each employee against the benchmarks that have been set.

7 Steps to a Great Warehouse Design


Effective Ways to Increase Warehouse Workflow Efficiency, as follows:

1. Draw a map of your environment

Create a scaled map of the warehouse space that allows for effective workflow as the initial stage. You can use pen and paper to create your map, or you can utilize warehouse layout design software. It's entirely up to you.

Your map should ideally resemble the illustration below, with your product travelling clockwise from your loading and unloading dock and back again.

Here are some important considerations to examine while designing your warehouse:

  • Making the most of the space available
  • Keeping the number of times items are handled to a minimum and allowing easy access to the stored product
  • Having the highest possible rotation ratio
  • Allowing for maximum product positioning flexibility
  • Keeping track of how many items are on hand
  • Make sure all of your measurements are precise, including ceiling heights, entrances, and pedestrian paths.

2. Optimize the layout of each primary section of the warehouse

Now that you have a starting point in the form of a map, it's time to examine each station in your diagram for efficiency.

a. Loading and unloading Area

Loading and unloading is a two-step process. An organized warehouse requires a clearly defined area for the input and outflow of commodities. Most of the materials that come into your warehouse enter and go through this region. Depending on your space, you can place your loading and unloading facility within or outside the warehouse building.

b. Receiving Area

This section should be completely independent from your loading and unloading hub in terms of location and operation. Before transferring items to their right location in the warehouse, your team members verify and count goods received, maintain quality control, and sort items here.

c. Storage Area

Because your storage area will take up the greatest room in your warehouse, it will take the most effort and consideration. Consider the following questions: what are the products that must be stored, what is their estimated turnover rate, and what are their weight, size, and other storage requirements?

How do you figure out how much storage you'll need? 

As a general rule, product storage should take up around 25% of your entire warehouse area. When calculating your overall storage capacity, remember to account for both vertical and horizontal space. You should also consider your storage area to be out of space if your facility is at 85 percent capacity.

d. Picking Area

A picking area is required if your organization fills orders using materials from various locations across the warehouse. This station's complexity is determined by the size of your business and the products you sell. Employees can hand pick things in some circumstances, while in others, a warehouse may use an automated picking system. Perhaps your business use both strategies. In either case, the correct warehouse layout can assist speed up this process.

e. Dispatch Area

Your personnel pack and prepare things for distribution and transportation in this section. Your team members will also determine which goods need to be refilled in the dispatch area. You can also utilize this area as a quality control part of your warehouse, moving products all the way back to the loading/unloading area.

3. Choose the appropriate equipment

After you've determined the various areas of your warehouse, the following stage in the warehouse layout process is to select the proper equipment for your operation.

Again, your choices will be influenced by the amount of room you have and the materials you work with. Forklifts come in handy when it comes to moving big, bulky objects and pallets throughout the warehouse. Pallet jacks, which are available in both manual and motorized versions, can transfer small items in your warehouse across shorter distances.

Remember that forklifts need a minimum aisle width of 12 feet to operate properly. Workers must also receive sufficient training in order to safely use warehouse equipment.

4. Optimize the layout of your warehouse for support services

A central area dedicated to staff services should also be included in your warehouse layout. This section is critical to your company's overall performance. 

The following are examples of support services:

  • Restrooms Lockers Modular Offices
  • Break rooms and employee lounges
  • Storage of equipment

When all of these services are in one place, you can save space and make it easier and safer for your staff to navigate.

5. Put your warehouse design to the test

Isn't there a proverb about the "best laid plans"? They can still go wrong. That's why it's critical to put your new warehouse design to the test. This test should include all of your personnel as well as all of your equipment.

Keep track of how things go during the test run and what needs to be changed to improve things.

6. Think about other aspects of your warehouse plan

Now that you've created a basic structure, it's time to think about some of the extra processes that will help you create a flexible and effective warehouse plan.

  • Forklifts require a large turning radius.
  • OSHA regulations and local ordinances call for a three-foot minimum clearance around electrical panels.
  • For warehouse racking, employ precise ceiling height measurements.
  • When deciding where to put your racks, keep in mind ceiling-mounted sprinkler systems.
  • Plan exits and entrances in a way that ensures safety and a smooth flow of traffic.
  • To save space, consider using tunnel bays (rack cuts) instead of aisles.

7. Find out what racking alternatives are available to you

Finally, the racking of a warehouse is critical to its success.

Consider the size, shape, and weight of your products, as well as how they will be packaged and dispatched, when deciding on the ideal racking solutions for your warehouse.

Pallet rack systems are the most popular type of racking, whereas cantilever rack is better for longer products.

Push back racking is the ideal option for LIFO (last in, first out) storage. Pallet flow racking allows for higher density storage for FIFO (first in, first out) storage. Furthermore, putting your high-turnover items closer to the picking and shipping sections will cut down on the time you spend retrieving them.


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