Running a warehouse can be a complicated procedure, and to avoid bottlenecks you’ve got to pay close attention to deal. The good news is there are plenty of tech tools and tips that can support you to improve your warehouse operations. To make a great start, these ten have got your covered.
Tools to Improve Your Warehouse
1. Fishbowl Inventory
Fishbowl Inventory provides plenty of handy features, from inventory monitoring to generating work orders and asset tracking. Using Fishbowl Inventory, you can manage everything from your packaging to you shipping and picking. `You can also organize your e-commerce tasks. No matter if you use a single warehouse or several, you can organize everything you need from the app. There are features for customized reporting, barcoding, and organizing your raw materials. Fishbowl users can also take advantage of plenty of warehouse automation processes, including purchase orders, and automated quotes.
With the MOVE warehouse management tool, your organization can optimize its operations for both external centers and internal departments. With MOVE you can control your info and stock levels in real-time. With the inventory management tool, you can access workflows such as cycle counting, LIFO and FIFO. MOVE can assist you with replenishment, shipping, picking and packing, and more. The tool also offers services to support kitting, labelling, and compliance documentation.
3. ZOHO Inventory
Zoho Inventory is a type inventory management software for small or medium-sized companies. The inventory modules include vendor organized inventory, analysis and reporting, and lot traceability. There are also inbuilt features for tracking and delivery, tracking and shipping, and invoicing. You can design purchase orders, drop shipments, and backorders. The inventory integrates with plenty of different e-commerce sites, to make life that little bit easier.
4. NetSuite WMS
NetSuite Warehouse Management Software offers inventory management, such as bin tracking and cycle counting. Using this software, your company can improve efficiency and lower handling costs. You can take advantage of dynamic replenishments, integrated barcoding and kitting. Further benefits of the software include enhanced use of space, fulfilment accuracy, and better rates on order fill.
5. Softeon Software
Using this WMS businesses can organize and optimize their distribution procedures. Features include everything from shipping and loading to inventory management. Sofeton also offers more advanced options, including Yard Management, Slotting Optimization, and Resource Management. There are plenty of different picking systems, including mobile robots, smart carts, and voice. If your requirements are rather complex, Softeon also offers a Warehouse Execution System to improve resource utilization and product flow.
Tips to Improve Your Warehouse
1. Warehouse Audit
To improve your warehouse operations, it’s essential to perform a warehouse audit. A typical audit should cover all your warehouse operations, from your ordering picking methods to your stock management and packing inventory. Other areas might focus on:
- Assessing the material flow and logistical layout.
- Analyzing your inventory to check for accuracy.
- Focusing on housekeeping, security and safety.
- Analyzing performance and the functionality of systems.
- Looking at your customer service and defining your performance.
- Assessing overall productivity and defining weak points.
Overall, a warehouse audit should determine areas for optimization or improvement. When you seek to improve your warehouse efficiency, you’ll reduce waste, save money and avoid business downtime.
2. Focus on Lean
Lean principles are based around the idea of reducing waste, and these principles are beneficial when applied to a warehouse setting. Lean teaches us that there are seven categories of waste. These categories are overproduction, motion, waiting, transportation, inventory, defects and overprocessing. Businesses must pay close attention to all of these areas if they want to reduce waste in the warehouse. Whether it’s wasted materials or wasted time, all types of waste affect your ROI.
3. Warehouse Risk Assessment
A risk assessment involves assessing workplace activities and practices to find anything that could potentially cause harm. A risk assessment has five different steps, which are:
- Define any hazards: Workplace hazards exist in many different forms, whether chemical or physical. The first step is to define which kinds of hazards are present.
- Who and how: The next stage is to decide who might come to harm by these hazards, (and exactly how they might be harmed). Identifying these factors is crucial if you’re to create an effective prevention strategy.
- Evaluate each risk and choose control measures: Now, you can evaluate the level of risk and decide how you can remove the risk. If the risk cannot totally be removed, it’s important to put some kind of protection measures in place.
- Record your data: Lastly, you should record your data and draw up a warehouse risk report. The data will be useful as a reference point for future audits.
4. Regular Maintenance Reviews
When you’re running a warehouse, it’s important to perform regular maintenance checks on your machines and buildings. Equipment that is not performing as it should equal defects and downtime. When it comes to industrial building construction, you’ll want the best team behind you whether it’s constructing a new facility, or maintaining your existing one. Regular maintenance checks are also important to keep your staff and visitors safe.
5. Health & Safety Apps
Last up, health and safety is crucial to support your warehouse operations. Here are a few apps which may be of use:
- Fatigue Predictor Pro: This application is a fatigue risk management tool. Users can monitor their sleep and their work and receive a prediction of their fatigue level. Tiredness on the job can be incredibly dangerous in a warehouse setting, and this tool can support companies to keep everyone safe. Employees can send info to the cloud, which their administrator can automatically view.
- NIOSH Lift Calculator: The app is designed to support workers to handle heavy loads. The first step is to input the lifting conditions. After this, you’ll be given a recommended lifting weight. Staff can use the app to calculate various types of lifting tasks, (whether multiple or single). To protect your workers from physical stress and back issues, the app suggests a CLI lifting index (or under).