Common Warehousing Issues
In today’s materials handling industry, it is fundamental for companies to ensure the smooth running of their warehouses. Efficiency and organisation within every aspect of the business is essential in order to gain a competitive advantage. Today we will look at some of the most common warehousing issues and provide tips that will help in overcoming them.
Problem: Insufficient Warehouse Space
Providing an adequate amount of storage space and the correct planning of a warehouse is vital for the smooth running of a business. Disorganised warehouse spaces can cause unnecessary labour costs and the incorrect use of storage systems and racking arrangements result in many companies finding their warehouse shelves full, with no space to receive new inventory.
• Ensuring the most popular inventory is at the front of the warehouse, where it is readily available can save you a great deal of time through minimising travel in the warehouse.
• Employing narrow aisle equipment instead of counter balance machinery can increase your warehouse storage capacities. Narrow aisle reach trucks can increase warehouse storage by up to 30%, whereas in long load applications, multi-directional forklifts can increase storage by up to 40%.
• Utilising a professional forklift company to complete a site evaluation will allow you to gain the best equipment for your application and will ensure you are able to maximise storage space.
Problem: Slow Picking Processes and Stock Discrepancies
Every minute that is spent on each inventory item can add up over the day, therefore having a major impact on operating costs. When inventory location is not organised and easily available, pickers will take longer to find items that need to be shipped. This can ultimately lead to a backup in labour.
• Bar code technology will eliminate multiple processes and human handling. Accurately tracking inventory will minimise any discrepancies in stocktaking and increase efficiency when order picking. Furthermore, employing handheld scanners to scan barcodes ensures that inventory is correctly identified at the time with minimal data entry errors.
• Sequenced order picking should also be considered. This gives employees a picking list, which sequences the visits to each picking location in the warehouse so overall travel time is minimised. With a more planned order picking process there will also be less wear and tear on your equipment along with a reduction in labour costs and time.
Problem: Warehouse Slotting Problems
Forklift operators often make multiple trips around the warehouse searching for slots in the storage racking for new inventory. This results in them slotting the pallet of inventory wherever they find an empty space. As the pallet family and size is not carefully considered in its allocation, you will eventually find a large amount of inventory slotted in an unorganised manner, with no room to reorganise due to limited warehouse space.
• Pre-planning and organisation can prevent a warehouse from becoming disorganised, by identifying the most efficient location for all inventory, factoring in the products storage characteristics, family and supply needs.
• Re-consider your storage and racking systems for your particular warehouse needs and layouts. In previous blogs, we have discussed cantilever racking, powered mobile racking, double deep racking and drive in racking.