Inventory management plays an essential role in the development of any company. It has to be effective in balancing the fulfilment of new orders along with minimizing the shipping costs. Moreover, a proper inventory management plan has to balance several other things such as smooth product flow, improved visibility, and productivity, overstocking and under-stocking, maximum capacity, etc.
If all these factors are not considered equally, you will probably lose track of the products and fail to satisfy your customer’s needs. And, if your customers or clients are dissatisfied with your product delivery, you will probably lose your credibility in the market. This will also lead to lower sales and hamper your company’s margin. Thus, you have to keep your warehouse inventory management in a well-organized manner. In this article, we have described some steps that will help you enhance your warehouse inventory management.
Create a warehouse layout:
Start creating your warehouse layout and determine the areas that are hampering your staff’s work efficiency. This is because your warehouse layout plays an important role in maintaining the flow of your inventories. If it doesn’t contain the right space or location for essential activities, it will create a negative impact on maintaining the flow of sending and receiving the products in the warehouse. The flow should be in order, such as first receiving the products, moving them to the storage section, packing them as per orders, and then removing them for shipping.
If your current warehouse plan isn’t offering any positive outcomes, then there are chances that the flow of products is not in order. Thus, you can take feedback from the staff for which areas are creating discrepancies in their work or which locations should be switched to enhance the product deliveries. Thus, you will be able to prepare a new warehouse layout that helps in maintaining the product flow effectively.
Add labels and signs:
Adding labels and signs will help in identifying, moving, handling, and shipping the products more easily for the staff, which in turn will reduce human errors. It also helps in organizing the products and maintaining the activity flow of your warehouse. Additionally, you can add a specific work zone to help the workers recognize their work locations. This is beneficial for the new staff and facilities that deal with temporary labor. You should also consider adding labels to bins, shelves, and signs for safety hazards to ensure your employee’s safety.
Instead of using traditional methods of adding sings, you can opt for thermal printers that create labels with barcodes. It will help in identifying the products using a scanner and capture the stock information by using an inventory management system.
Put maps at main locations:
In addition to labels and signs, you can put up warehouse maps at main locations. The maps will help new or seasonal employees to locate themselves and find where they need to go easily. This will help the staff to navigate faster and get the job done without any delays. They will also be aware of where the specific products are located and organize them if found misplaced.
Create specific picking locations:
You need to create specific picking locations to enhance your warehouse inventory management system. For that, you have to separate the products based on their requirements, size, weight, and then put them into a different stock keeping unit. Remember to never mix different products in a single location because it will create a mess and errors in picking and checking.
Plan the locations depending on the product’s picking and shipping frequency. Add the most often picked and heavier items close to the entrance door. Consider creating multiple picking locations for different categories to avoid any conflicts. Once you are done creating the picking locations and placing products based on their frequency, take reviews from the staff to ensure that it is efficient for them.
Train the staff:
Most of the errors in the warehouse are occurred due to human mistakes. Hence, you need to train the staff and avoid manual work as much as you can. Other than that, you can provide adequate training to the staff to make them aware of the relevant work. If you teach them the best practices and show how it will create a positive impact on their work environment, they will be able to work efficiently and responsibly on their tasks.
You should also highlight the incentive programs that depend on individual work productivity and maintaining work accuracy. If you set clear expectations for employees’ right from the start, it will help them to stay focused on their respective tasks, which will ultimately keep the warehouse well-organized and productive.
Attempt cyclic counting:
You should attempt cyclic counting once in a year to keep track of your stock. This will help you to manage the stocks and keep an eye on year-end tax filings. But if you want to enhance your inventory management, then doing it annually wouldn’t be much beneficial. Hence, you can do it quarterly or twice a year as per your convenience.
If you maintain the stocks accurately, you will be able to provide highly efficient services to your customers. It will also help in identifying the errors and inventory shrink and rectify them frequently. You can also find the root causes and take appropriate actions to eliminate them. Moreover, if the stock is proper, the employees will be able to work more efficiently and have a clear idea of what products need to be changed or removed.
Clean up the mess regularly:
A clean and well-organized storage unit helps in improving the productivity and efficiency of the warehouse. So you need to schedule a regular cleanup activity at the end of the day where you have to stop taking orders and allocate the time for cleaning up all the mess. As the employees will be ready to leave for the day, they will do the cleanup process more actively. This will help in starting the next day in a fresh and organized manner without wasting any time in clearing the stuff.
Moreover, you can exchange the used Gaylord boxes used for storing the inventories by connecting with The Gaylord Box Exchange. This will help in keeping only required boxes in the warehouse and create extra space for moving along.
Your company’s development will be in synchronization with the warehouse’s inventory management. Thus, you can follow all these steps and enhance your inventory management for better growth and efficiency.