5 Warehouse Resolutions for the New Year

Is your warehouse structured to help you meet your new year goals? Follow these tips to increase productivity, create an efficient workflow and move more materials in your warehouse.

1. Walk the Floor

Active floor supervision helps managers improve performance in the distribution center in three ways – space utilization, product flow and work flow.

2. Measure and Monitor

Measurements or metrics can be used to monitor your overall operations (cost-per-order shipped or lines picked per man-hour) or specific improvement issues (lost-time injuries or error rate per hundred orders shipped).

3. Look at Space Utilization

Start by examining cube utilization of your facility. If there is empty space near the ceiling, then higher racks, narrower aisles and forklifts with higher lifting capacities could allow you to store and move more materials. Also, look for obsolete inventory. If a stock-keeping unit (SKU) hasn’t moved in more than a year, it’s wasting valuable space.

4. Check Product Flow

Make a point of tracing how product flows through your facility regularly to see if the flow is still logical and sequential. Up to 60 percent of direct labor in the warehouse is attributed to traveling from location to location.

5. Test the Work Flow

One of our customers had a great idea. The warehouse manager asked a friend in, handed him a pick ticket and asked him to fill an order. It gave that manager an idea of where process improvement is needed.

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