If you want your facility operating at maximum capacity with low overhead, get ahead of the competition by staying on top of new warehouse management best practices and logistics best practices. Better business operations are on the horizon when you continue to innovate, invest in new technology, maintain organized inventory, and effectively utilize your warehouse space.
Here are our six best practices for warehousing that you can implement today in your warehouse operations:
Invest in an Advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Want maximum efficiency? It’s time to adopt a warehouse management system (WMS). With the most advanced warehouse management system (WMS), you’ll know where your product is at all times. Employing an internal system like a WMS advances your operations with real-time inventory tracking. When using this technology to your advantage, there’s less for you to manage. Overall, it produces a more accurate warehouse process with significantly fewer errors, reducing costs, and making your customers happier.
Store Your Data in the Cloud
If you haven’t started transitioning away from paper processes or spreadsheets, there’s no better time than now. Data can now be entered directly into digital software stored on the cloud, avoiding puzzling handwriting, missing paperwork, and a litany of other errors that can arise. Users can save all warehousing data and reports digitally via cloud-based storage. Moving to the cloud reduces wasted space and paper. More importantly, it allows for a secure backup of essential reports, inventory data, sales, and billing available 24 hours a day.
Use Your Space Wisely
If your sales are increasing, you’ll need to evaluate your current space and see if it still is effective. You may consider a new warehouse design layout or a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. The cost of warehouse square footage is no joke. By turning over your storage and handling to a 3PL, you gain additional space in your existing facility. By employing warehousing services from a 3PL like BR Williams, you’ll find facilities encompassing over 1.7 million square feet and distribution centers in six strategic locations. You’ll be surprised to see a reduction in operational costs, inventory carrying costs, and more efficient picking and packing operations.
Increase Inventory Visibility
Look at visibility from a proactive standpoint by fine-tuning your systems and processes. Continue to invest in systems that accurately forecast customer demand and determine correct inventory levels in your warehouse’s supply chain. Barcode scanning ensures inventory and order integrity. Keeping tabs on your inventory can help with other key performance indicators, analyze order trends, and produce heat maps for orders throughout the country and the world. When everyone is on the same page, everyone stays aligned with both company and customer needs. Plus, your warehouse gains greater end-to-end visibility.
Improve Picking Speed and Efficiency
When it’s appropriate and it makes sense, eliminate unnecessary steps in your processes. Individual items or cases can be picked from a pallet and directly packed into a shipping carton. Not only does this make the process faster and more streamlined, but it can also increase customer satisfaction and maximize your bottom line.
Pursue Alternate Logistics Solutions
A long-running shortage of truck drivers and port congestion are merely two of many issues the logistics industry faces. If the pandemic has taught us anything, your business needs to prepare for all kinds of situations. By partnering with a 3PL for warehousing and distribution services, you have a built-in ally to help plan for unforeseen circumstances. Seek alternative shipping routes, find varied shipping methods for efficient last-mile delivery, and secure as much capacity as possible from your logistics partners. Together, you can build a new, agile supply chain.
Implementing the best practices in warehousing we outlined will help place your business in a position to operate effectively. Keeping your attention on improved operations gives you the competitive advantage you need to secure new customers, maintain relationships with existing customers, and keep up with demand. Take your business a step further and work with a customer-focused partner who cares about your reputation. Contact BR Williams for custom warehousing and distribution services to protect your inventory and get it to customers on time.