Lead Forensics

Seven common warehouse mistakes

A well-organised warehouse is more productive and saves costs. Many warehouses make mistakes that make them inefficient. Fortunately, most mistakes can be easily rectified. Here are seven common mistakes that should be avoided:

1. Shipping and receiving areas overlap

Keep incoming and outgoing areas separate, or in different docks. If shipping and receiving areas overlap, orders for dispatch can end up being reshelved. The area can be congested, with too many workers getting in the way of each other.

Even if the receiving and dispatching areas are next to each other, they should be distinctly separated to avoid confusion.

2. Receiving area is too small

The receiving area has a critical function in the warehouse. It needs to be large enough for at least three processes: receiving goods, inspecting them and labelling them.

If the receiving area is too small, the lack of space can cause inefficiencies. If goods are not identified and allocated to the correct storage location, they may be difficult to locate by pickers.

3. Picking paths are not optimised

Picking paths need to be efficient, so pickers only have to travel the minimum distance to collect order items. High-demand items should be placed nearer the packing station. The last items picked should be closest to the packing station.

Warehouse management software can plan picking journeys so that pickers take the shortest route.

4. No plans for future growth

Many organisations fail to plan for future growth. The warehouse may be adequate for today’s business, organisations need to consider what would happen if sales grew and more stock needed to be stored.

A warehouse should have spare capacity for future inventory increases. If there does not seem to be enough spare space, reorganising the shelving systems will free up more capacity. Aisles may be narrowed to fit in more shelving rows.

Steely Products supplies flexible shelving and rack systems. Shelving heights can be adjusted to maximise storage areas and extra shelves can be added to use more vertical space.

5. Lack of a deadstock management plan

Many organisations don’t have a deadstock plan. Deadstock includes non-pristine returns, damaged items and opened boxes. These shouldn’t be stored with regular items. Deadstock should be clearly marked so that pickers don’t accidentally pick these items. They could also be sold off at discount prices.

6. Unclear labels and signs

All inventory should be clearly labelled so that it is easily recognised. The labels should have barcodes and should be visually recognisable for workers. Different areas in the warehouse should be clearly signed or colour coded.

7. Use of poor equipment

All equipment used in the warehouse should be of good quality, well designed and durable. At Steely Products, we only make premium-quality material handling and storage equipment, which you can rely on to perform well under daily use.

Smart warehouse owners avoid these common warehouse mistakes, and many use equipment supplied by Steely Products. Talk to us about your warehouse equipment needs, or ask us to design bespoke equipment for you. Call Steely today or use the contact form below.

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