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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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9 Tips For Increasing Your Retail Warehouse Productivity

 

1. Maximize Your Vertical Space

When it comes to planning the layout of your retail warehouse, you should always look to expand up instead of out. Vertical space has long been thought of as a cost-center for retail warehouses, but with proper optimization and storage, you can reduce the amount of time need to go up and down drastically.

 

2. Reduce travel time for employees.

The amount of time spent walking between stations can be a significant drain on the productivity of your warehouse. Warehouse managers should optimize routes between stations and reduce unnecessary legs of the order picking process to keep employees moving smoothly and efficiently through the operation.

 

3. Use effective communication with your team.

Several different departments make up warehouse operations, and a lack of communication between these departments can result in shipping errors that are costly in both time and money. Make sure critical information about each shipment is passed along to each department to help keep incidents like this from grinding your operation to a stop.

 

4. Have a set of metrics to analyze your employee's performance.

To make sure you're increasing productivity from your current baseline, you'll want to have a set of metrics in mind with increasing productivity. These metrics can also be good motivational drivers for competitive employees to get the most out of their workday by providing incentives to meet metrics.

 

5. Real-time inventory visibility can save time.

By keeping track of your inventory in real-time, you can see where a parcel is in the packaging process and who is responsible for it. This also helps you deal with sudden influxes in demand, as your workers can instantly identify where a shipment is located in the system.

 

6. Employees need proper training in warehouse freight.

While real-time inventory tracking and management systems can be useful for maintaining a productive warehouse, nothing beats properly trained employees who are knowledgeable about the systems they're using on a day-to-day basis. Always make sure your employees are properly trained with a review system that can incorporate incentives to keep employees engaged.

 

7. Simplify your shipping cartons.

Getting an order out the door on time is a lot more simple when you're employees only have a few container options to choose from. Keep pallet size in mind when you're picking box size, but this is one of the easiest ways to make a facility more productive.

 

Wooden pallets that are used to transport boxes across the country are designed to a standard measurement, so taking this into account when choosing your shipping cartons will help your facility be more productive when it comes time to ship everything out.

 

8. Automate as much of the process as you can.

The end-goal of any warehouse efficiency program is to automate as much of the process as possible. You can use warehouse management software to achieve this goal, alongside the use of robotic picking systems that can sort and process items much faster than their human counterparts.

 

9. Wooden pallets can promote supply chain efficiency.

As previously mentioned, wooden pallets are used in the shipping industry worldwide. These pallet systems can help you reduce transport costs and promote supply chain efficiency in a variety of ways. The type of wooden pallet you buy can have an enormous impact on a variety of factors, from unloading time, product quality, safety, and shipping costs. Choosing the right size pallet to manage your retail inventory can mean the difference between a well-oiled supply chain and one that is ineffective and costly.

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