5 Warehouse Performance Management Tips

1. Eliminate errors in receiving

Many inventory errors occur when inventory management staff isn’t given the appropriate space to work. Consider giving inventory staff a generous workspace and this will save you from many future problems such as lost time, money and authority.

Consider labelling all products to make it easier for staff to select inventory. Anything you can do to reduce errors and streamline the process will help operations run smoothly.

2. Establish priority picking

Give your handlers an easy way to identify the products that you want to go to your most important customers. For example, you could create colour coded orders or pick lists that indicate customer priority. This will make it much easier for staff to identify material for certain customers and save a lot of time processing items.

3. Set quality control standards

By establishing quality controls for orders, you will save yourself a lot of backtracking in the future. For example, consider selecting a few samples when you receive products and quality check the items. If the products pass checks, then you can keep them. If the checks fail, then you can reject these products. Implement quarantine status for any goods you do not want to ship out.

Consider setting a quality control at the following stages of production:

– when receiving and throughout warehouse process

– at the exit point from production

– during the shipping process

4. Perform regular inventory counts

Many make the mistake of waiting until their yearly inventory count to perform audits. Conduct regular cycle counts to keep track of your inventory. Since cycle counting only involves taking a sample, it will save you from going through the labour of a physical inventory count. Do this every quarter and at the very least once a year. Create a pattern when you do it and have a plan. For example, make this part of your weekly or daily routine.

Inventory counts are also an excellent security measure for your warehouse. It will create a strong internal psychological preventive against theft. The regularity of audits is important for this reason and also for accountability of inventory.

5. Continuously improve operations

Great warehouse performance is essentially a shared goal between the warehouse manager and their personnel. This involves having a leader who is able to challenge and change the culture to reflect these goals. As a manager, you need to continually monitor and adapt processing to meet the needs of your clients.

You may want to improve operations through:

–       Highlighting processing that underpins accountability

–       Offering your employees educational courses and investing in their professional development

–       Working on your personal leadership skills and the energy you put into streamlining the warehouse operation

One idea is to invite an independent party into your warehouse to observe the warehouse floor. Consider asking someone from your business’s leadership to help. Just having someone ask questions about why certain things are being done will help give you a greater perspective and improve how things are done.

By adapting your methods, you will deliver benefits to your clients and see results as well as profits soon follow.


About the Author:

Warehousing is a central business function that can always be improved by better management. In this article, Darren Woollard, Director of DMG Freight Services, offers five performance management tips for improving your warehousing operation.