Top 10 Tips for Organizing your Warehouse
The warehouse is the heart of your business. You need it to be tidy, organized and easy to negotiate for it to be useful. But how do you make sure your warehouse is the productive hub you need it to be? Here are 10 tips for a organizing your warehouse to make it perfectly productive:
1. Planned storage
Not all of your inventory is going to be the same size, the same weight or the same shape. Similarly you aren’t going to need to store equal quantities of everything you stock. So for example, if you only sell two blue door knobs a year you won’t want to take up a huge space to store these. By investing in a range of different warehouse racking systems you can store your inventory wisely and use your warehouse space more productively.
2. Color coding
Large warehouses often benefit from color coded areas as it helps pickers to locate the general vicinity they need to be in quickly. You could install blue racking for one type of product, yellow for another, orange for another and so on. Similarly, you could adopt a ‘bay’ system where each is numbered differently. Find what works best for you and your staff and stick to it!
3. Keep popular products close
If you have a number of hot products that sell on a daily basis then it makes sense to locate them close to the area used for packing and shipping. This not only makes things easier for your pickers, it also cuts down on their travelling time to and from the picking location.
4. Stock at the right height
Products that you sell hundreds of each week are easier to pick accurately if they are located at a waist-to-shoulder height. This height also ensures that your pickers don’t require additional equipment e.g. step ladders, a fork lift truck etc. to get to the product.
5. Labeling systems
Most large warehouses these days are run by warehouse management software programs and for more than a few hundred products this is the best labeling system available. Software programs can be expensive to install in the first instance but they increase productivity immensely and soon earn their money back.
6. Make use of vertical height
Space in your warehouse is probably at a premium so don’t forget to make use of the vertical height you have available. By installing the correct warehouse racking systems you can double or even triple the amount of storage space you have available. All you have to do then is plan how to pack the shelves based on some of our tips above.
7. Designated equipment areas
Things like fork lift trucks, pump trucks and picking trolleys should be stored in an area away from your main picking and packing areas when not in use. Leaving them in the warehouse aisles will make picking more difficult and it could even lead to an accident. It also makes your warehouse look messy and unorganized.
8. Seasonal products
Seasonal products normally come into a warehouse for a few months of the year before disappearing again. With this in mind, you aren’t going to want to integrate them into your main warehouse only to have to remove them again later. If you do receive seasonal products on an annual basis then it makes sense to keep a small area of your warehouse free, specifically for them. This means they won’t be left lying around for the few months they are needed but they won’t cause a headache in terms of your warehouse management system either.
9. Train your staff
It’s absolutely pointless having an ultra-organized warehouse if your staff mess it up on a weekly basis. Make sure all of your staff are adequately trained in terms of your picking process and also in terms of how your warehouse management system works.
10. Keep your warehouse tidy
Again, a warehouse can only remain organized if it is kept tidy. Make sure housekeeping duties are completed on a daily basis, either by designated members of staff or on a rota basis. You’ll be surprised at the difference this will make and the havoc that can unfold if it is not maintained!
About the author:
RHP Racking are experts when it comes to warehouse racking and shelving systems. If you’re looking for storage space that will maximize your potential and productivity as a business, get in touch with them today.