Your warehouse plays an essential role in your business. Whether you can fulfill your customers’ demands or not – it all depends on how you manage your warehouse.
So, it all comes down to effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness is managing items in terms of safety and accuracy. At the same time, efficiency is about managing time and cost.
If you adopt tools and strategies to manage your warehouse for optimizing your inventory, you can get 50% bottom-line savings. It’s a game-changer for all businesses.
Why should you manage your inventory?
An efficiently and effectively managed inventory makes a lot of difference in the productivity of your business. It provides the following benefits:
- Maximizes your storage space
- Is time-saving
- Ensures easy monitoring of stock
- Beneficial in terms of lowering overheads
All these advantages will help you immensely. You can implement these simple steps in your workflow.
Effective ways to manage your warehouse
Here are some simple yet practical steps that can help you manage your warehouse.
1. Planning the layout of your warehouse
One easy warehouse management trick is to plan the layout of your warehouse strategically. Before putting items in your warehouse, you need to plan every inch of them. Also, make sure that your warehouse has the facility of easy exit and entry of goods.
You can also mark all the shelves so that your employees do not get confused while picking and stocking items. Lastly, your warehouse should have ample space for forklifts and pallet jacks to move freely.
2. Sorting your inbound items
All your items should be positioned based on the inventory turnover ratio. Because it
will accelerate the picking process. We recommend placing the top-selling items on shelves that have easy access. For instance, these items can be put near the packing and shipping place.
Hence, it will save your employees a lot of time. And they can focus more on other important tasks instead. If you need to analyze the top-selling items, consider using POS software. Because it will enable you to explore the trends and demands of the customers.
In return, you will be able to make intelligent decisions for your business.
3. Conducting regular cycles of inventory count
You can’t only be dependent on physical counts. Instead, you should occasionally audit your inventory as well. Conducting cycle counts are less disruptive as compared to performing physical counts. Because you need to count subsets of goods in specific locations in your warehouse.
So, try to conduct cycle counts at least once in three months. As it will reduce the risk of inventory shrinkage.
4. Preventing unauthorized entry in the warehouse
Preventing problems from happening is far better than fixing them. To do that, you need to restrict access to the warehouse. It will help avoid inventory loss.
You can hand over access cards to your trusted employees. In addition to this, you can set passwords on the doors of the warehouse.
5. Making sure everything is labeled
Analyze each item in your warehouse. And make sure all the things have barcodes and SKUs.
For instance if you have a repair shop, your repair shop software can help you with that, as most contain an inventory management system.
Through the repair shop software, you can also generate serialized inventory with
unique SKUs. It will let you keep track of all your inventory items. Consider tracking the price of every item. Because you need to be aware of the factors that might change the cost such as seasonality and scarcity.
6. Analyzing the performance of the supplier
Unreliable suppliers tend to cause troubles in your inventory management. Some suppliers are late with deliveries habitually. Some are frequently out of stock. Hence, you need to take action immediately.
For that, have a detailed discussion with your supplier regarding the issues that you are facing. You might have to change suppliers. And even deal with undefined stock levels or the possibility of being out of stock as a result.
So, take precautionary measures before taking the drastic step of switching suppliers.
7. Implementation of cross-docking
Cross-docking is a type of supply chain management process. And it reduces the shelf storing time of the stock.
It only requires combining materials from various origins in outbound trucks with similar or same destinations.
Also, you can store items in a transit warehouse. Please note that the transit warehouse is smaller and has no shelves. If you don’t have one, your employees will go through the hassle of sorting the items and directly putting them into outbound trucks.
8. Training your employees
Your employees need to follow warehouse regulations and compliance. For that, conduct regular employee training sessions to ensure that all operations are running smoothly.
In addition to this, you need to monitor the work of your staff. And ask your employees to fill surveys that will help to enhance your human resource management.
9. Planning for various demands
Almost all businesses have various seasonal demands. You need to plan for the demands of your business. A few months of the year will indeed be busier as compared to others. Your stock levels should not be low during those active months.
To ensure you meet the demand, forecast historical trends to maintain stock at an optimal level during those months.
10. Using Bin locations
Do you have Bin locations in your warehouse? If not, then you need to consider having them.
Bin locations are a perfect way to divide your warehouse into segments. It is a kind of geographical map showing where all the stock is put. So, use it to manage all the items effectively. Because it will help your staff find products quickly.
A well-designed warehouse should be easy to navigate using bin locations, even if you have not visited it before.
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11. Using quality control
You need to have a proper quality control mechanism in your warehouse. If you skip this step, you might end up having unhappy customers. Check for the condition, accuracy, and packaging before you ship the product.
It is imperative to make sure your employees are aware of the performance levels found in QC. So, build a culture of accuracy and investigation to root out problems.
Now that you know all the effective ways to manage your warehouse to optimize your inventory control, get things on track. Remember, your inventory is the final place that makes the customer’s request complete. Don’t let there be any lags in the system.