When your business relies on delivering goods to customers, then speed becomes a key issue. In today’s world, customers want their items as quickly as possible. This is why companies offer next-day delivery options, and your general delivery speeds can set you apart from the rest.
For example, I will often choose to buy things on Amazon just because I know Prime Delivery will get me my products quicker than others. Even if the product is slightly cheaper on a different site, it doesn’t always concern me. Your customers will think in the same vein, so what can you do to improve your delivery speeds?
As the title points out, you need to look at your warehouse. Many speed issues are related to getting your stock out of the warehouse and onto trucks. If you can’t get the items ready for delivery as soon as possible, then you end up missing vital deadlines. For instance, what if you need to get your orders out before 5 pm to ensure they’re delivered the next day? You take too long finding all the orders in your warehouse, and they’re not ready to be loaded up until 6 pm. Now, you missed the deadline, and the orders will most likely not be delivered until the next day. Cue lots of unhappy customers!
Warehouse management is a relatively easy thing for you to get to grips with. Often, you’ll be amazed at how easy you can change things. So, here are a few tips to help you improve productivity and get your orders shipped out faster than ever before:
Create a More Efficient Layout
The way your warehouse is set-up will have a huge bearing on how efficient it is. Too many small business owners don’t understand the importance of the layout. As such, your warehouse is set-up to slow you down – and you aren’t even aware of it!
Now, I’ve placed a video below this point that explains how to create the perfect warehouse layout. In essence, it’s all about setting up the right amount of rows and designing a system for people to move around without getting in each other’s way. You also need to make the most out of your warehouse space and try to keep different things separate from one another. So, you have one area to package things up, one to do labeling work, and so on. It creates a much better system that will instantly lead to improved results.
Choose a Specific Organizational Method
This point follows on from the previous one – and it strongly relates to the layout. I’m talking about the way in which your stock is organized. Yes, you may have all the rows lined up efficiently, but how do you know what to put where?
Clearly, there are different approaches. Some people store things alphabetically, while others store by relevance. As an example, if you run an online fashion brand, then you keep all the shoes in one area, all the women’s tops in another, and so on. The key is that you know where everything in your warehouse is. So, when orders come in, you can swiftly get to them as quickly as you can.
Use Signage Throughout the Facility
Credit CC0 License
Signs are your best friend. Even with the perfect layout and organizational system, it can still take time to find specific products. So, the best way to deal with this is by using signage. Get signs created that point people in the right direction and tell them where to go to get certain things. This makes it so much easier to find what you’re after. You just look at the signs, and they tell you what’s down this row, and where you need to go.
To add to this, you can use signs along all of your shelving as well. These can be even more specific, telling you precisely what’s where. Again, it gives you visual aids to help understand what you’re looking for.
Call Upon Equipment/Machinery to Speed Things Up
Obviously, you need machinery and equipment to help you speed things up around your warehouse. There are two main things you need, and one is a forklift truck. This will help you lift multiple items all in one go, and you can deliver them to the specific places in your warehouse in seconds. Consider pallet rental services as well to make it easier for you to load numerous items onto the forklift at the same time. With a truck, you can basically take one trip to do a job that would usually take multiple.
The second thing is a lifting platform of sorts. This helps you get up to the higher levels of your shelving. It’s essential that you have one, and you should invest in one that’s safe and fast. The last thing you want is a slow lifting platform that takes ages to get you up and down.
Use Modern Technology
Lastly, you need to take advantage of the technology available to your warehouse. There’s so much modern warehouse technology that helps you automate certain processes and save a lot of time.
The key one that sprints to mind is a handheld label printing device. Here, you can scan a barcode and print the label ready for delivery. It can be done as the products are being sorted and loaded up, which saves so much time. There’s no need to go to a computer and manually input any details, just scan and print as you work!
Of course, other factors can influence your delivery speeds. The traffic on the roads is a factor, as is the distance your products have to travel. But, most of the other factors are out of your control. You can’t do anything about them, so focus on what you can do something about. Improve your warehouse management to create a far more efficient delivery process. As soon as orders come in, you can get things ready to be loaded up before your deadlines. This way, you ensure that you’ve done everything you can to get things out on time for quicker deliveries.