Studies in the field have revealed that distribution centre managers are often aware of the need to improve the quality of the operations carried out within their warehouses. However, this improvement is dependent on the availability of time and resources, as well as on the efficiency of the strategies being applied. According to these studies, almost 3000 hours' work is lost every year in mid-size warehouses due to technological insufficiencies or failure to implement regular practice assessment plans. In this context, here are four tips on how to achieve improve efficiency within a warehouse.
Tip no. 1: Keeping a log of any potential changes
Noting down inventory error rates in logs is common practice. However, these rates are rarely analysed to the end of identifying the systematic flaws within a company. Keeping a log of any changes in training, staff, technology or any other area is the most effective way to identify any such flaws. It should be noted though that time scaling these flaws is different from preventing or reacting to them upon assessing the inventory error rates.
Tip no. 2: Focusing on high accountability processes
Often times, highly effective methods fail to provide the desired results due to errors made by workers or their attempts to cheat the system while aware that their negligence will be somehow compensated for in the later stages of the work process. Therefore, developing a sense of accountability is important when managing a warehouse for it will ensure an improved efficiency level both in the short run and the long run.
Tip no. 3: Providing continuous education to the warehouse workers
High workforce efficiency is conditioned by the availability of proper technological equipment. Therefore, investments in this area, as well as investments in the development area are imperative for they enable the development of a highly productive culture and working process. The implementation of education programs for warehouse workers is bound to generate positive results in terms of workforce efficiency in the short term and the long term as well.
Tip no. 4: Mobilising leaders on the floor
Last but not least, it is important to note that workers will always find ways to work their way around the system and stall or carry out all sorts of unnecessary operations, however thorough the warehouse streamlining process may be. This is mainly due to warehouse responsibilities being highly repetitive in nature, which tends to cause significant delays in terms of problem identification and resolution. One of the most effective solutions to this problem is to get company leaders to supervise the operations being carried out within the warehouse. They should ask for explanations as to why various operations are being carried out rather than how exactly they are being carried out.
Having supervisors from the outside watch over the workers' activity has proven to deliver satisfactory results in terms of maximising workforce efficiency over the years. In fact, all these tips have delivered notable results in the workforce efficiency area over the years, so they can serve as a great addition to the management strategies of distribution centre managers.