Warehouse Cost Savings - 7 Practical Considerations!

There are some facts about cost savings in the warehouse that are undisputed. Research and experience has taught warehouse managers the best way to save on costs is to optimize the workflow in the warehouse. Optimization is the key to reducing overall costs and increasing productivity in the warehouse.

There are 7 practical considerations that can help to reduce the cost and increase the workflow that are right under your nose that you may have never even realized was something you should be considering.

1Audit Your Warehouse

audit your warehouseHow often do you audit your warehouse? Do you do it monthly? You should! Optimization depends on being able to recognize where you are failing. Auditing warehouse activities once a month is a necessity.

A regularly scheduled audit meeting with key employees can help to brainstorm ideas for reducing risk, increasing productivity and making necessary adjustments.

2Packaging, Storing, Shipping

Cost reduction and optimization are really the same activity and they both rely on having the right packaging, the right storage and the right shipping tools. As a matter of fact some experts would say that these three tenets are as important as having trusted labor in the warehouse.

Packaging, storing and shipping tools are important because they enhance (or defeat) every other activity in the warehouse. Consider that the right tools can:

  • Reduce risk of injury in the warehouse
  • Reduce product loss in the warehouse and during transit
  • Cut down on packaging costs

If you want to save in the warehouse you have to have the right packaging. The right packaging is packaging that is sustainable, reusable, recyclable and that can improve the workflow.

Pallets are a good option to meet all of the above. Look into and learn more to reduce overall costs.

3Uniformity Works

The goal in any warehouse is to make things so simple that anyone can come in and do the work. Uniformity works and has been proven to do so time and time again.

Choose your packaging and stay with it. Choose packaging and a storage system that is intuitive so that you do not have to spend hours and hours training new employees. Simple solutions for uniformity are the best solutions.

Time is money and if you are spending too much time in the training phase and not enough in the working phase than you are just wasting money.

Uniform shipping, storing and packaging also can save time and money up and down the supply chain. Agreeing with suppliers on one particular type of storage, shipping, packaging can mean a lot less delay, easier transit and a highly effective supply chain.

4Just Automate

Automation is the way to go if you want to cut back on labor costs and you want a more efficient warehouse use as much automation technology as you can.

A clear cut easy to use system that is automated will cut down greatly on human error and reduce the amount of time it takes for an item to get into the warehouse and then get back out. Automation can help to reduce risk by providing easy tracking reports.

5Intuitive Pulling Strategies

Oddly enough one of the biggest mistakes in warehouses today is NOT using intuitive picking or pulling strategies. Keeping items that are shipped most frequently near the shipping dock just makes more sense.

It saves steps for the warehouse labor which saves time, time is money so it is money saved. Take a look around your warehouse and see what can be done to make it more in line with your operation.

The best thing about warehouses is that they are always ready for a change. If what you are doing does not seem to be working at an optimum, change it.

Store goods that often ship together near each other, better yet let goods that ship together share the same shelves.

Little changes like making it easier to pull parts and supplies can have a huge impact on optimization.

6Reuse Instead of Disposing

One of the very quickest ways to reduce costs in the warehouse environment is to stop utilizing disposable packaging, it is one of the biggest wastes of money. Cardboard boxes, shrink wraps and other disposable packaging materials are just a total waste of money.

Wooden pallets and pallet collars can easily replace both and are gentler and kinder to the environment. You can quickly cut back on waste, on the cost of disposing the waste and of managing unnecessary supplies. Of course you also get the added bonus of improving your reputation as a company that cares about the environment.

It is a simple fix that many companies have seen increase their revenue, reduce their labor costs and overall warehousing costs. Flexible, reusable solutions are one of the key steps to optimizing your warehouse.

7Don’t Fear the Changes

One of the most critical errors a manager can make is to get to use to the state of things in the warehouse and stop making positive changes. There is always, always room for improvement.

Even if you believe that things are going fine, you always want to look for a better way to do things. Warehousing is constantly evolving and there are always new solutions that can help to optimize your warehouse. Sticking with the status quo can be very risky business.

Do not be afraid to investigate new technology, techniques and practices that may greatly benefit warehouse activities.

Above All Else

Above everything else when it comes to cutting costs in your warehouse is to keep an open mind and look for the innovative solutions that can change the workflow to make it more productive with less risk. It is usually a few simple changes that have the greatest impact on the workflow but you have to be open to the changes.

Look for a balance between the latest technology combined with the old ways that are proven winners and you will be able to optimize your warehouse, reduce costs and enjoy a greater workflow!

15.11.2016

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