Common warehouse management problems and their solutions
Running a warehouse is a job that requires a lot of organization and managing. Whether you like it or not, problems sometimes happen. That’s a reality you need to get used to if you want to be in this business. Luckily, there is something that you can do about those issues. Being proactive and learning about the common warehouse management problems and their solutions is the best strategy.
Doing redundant tasks
Each item in a warehouse has a number of tasks done on them. These tasks, or operations, create a workflow that includes everything that happens to that particular item from the moment it enters the warehouse to the moment it leaves. The problem occurs if the workflow is not organized correctly. If two or more people do the same task, you get a redundancy that only wastes time and company resources. This type of issue is more experienced in larger warehouses simply because of the amount of work.
A successful logistics business model demands precision and efficiency. With that in mind, go over specific operations and make sure to fix the problem of redundancy. Warehouse execution systems (WES) are the best solution because they allow you to automate various processes. This will remove the redundancy problem for good.
Unorganized inventory management
If you start finding products at wrong locations, discovering that you don’t have enough stock to fulfill orders, or finding out that you do have enough stock after you have already denied the order, you are having issues with inventory management. Your inventory records are not accurate, causing a lot of problems in your business.
Almost 50% of small businesses use manual tracking, or they don’t track inventory at all. That is unacceptable. One possible solution is to look into Supply Chain 4.0 technologies. Advanced technology can solve your issues with stock shortages, delays caused by errors, and many other issues you are experiencing.
Wrong warehouse layout
One of the most common problems warehouse owners face is the lack of space in their warehouses. This is not because the warehouses are small, but only due to the poor use of space. Warehouse layout issues have existed for a long time now, and they are a huge pain point in the industry.
The idea is to find the optimal layout that will make use of vertical space while leaving enough room for employees to move around. However, this also creates issues with accessibility to the products. If the boxes with items are on high shelves, it will not always be easy to reach them.
Automation equipment and technology are the answer. It will reduce the labor costs and at the same time help with categorizing the inventory and improving accessibility. Some warehouse management systems offer 3D models that show the best warehouse layout with all the dimensions.
If, for some reason, you still don’t want to upgrade the technology in your warehouse, you can do some rearranging manually. Simply place the items that sell the most on the lower shelves, and make them easily accessible.
Failing to get ready for seasonal demands
Demand planning is a critical process in warehousing. Demand depends on many factors, like customers, the economy, or the season. When it comes to seasonal demands, it is important to understand that some products are not sold during the entire year. A good example would be winter clothes.
As a warehouse manager, you need to be ready for reorganization based on the season. The best way to prepare for this is to stay in touch with the manufacturers, transporters, retailers, and distributors in the business. They will feed you the information about the current demands, which will tremendously help with warehouse organization.
Furthermore, you should also use demand forecasting. This technique relies on market analysis to tell you what products will be sold the most in the upcoming season.
Order management issues
One of the areas that report the most problems and errors is order management. It is also one of the most important operations. It keeps track of all the operations and processes from the moment an order is received.
Even the slightest mistake in the order management process will cause delays with the shipment. If you are thinking about automating your business and purchasing warehouse software, this is where you should start. Order fulfillment accuracy will help with increasing the profit of the company and improve overall customer satisfaction.
How labor costs affect your business
Many warehouse owners think that warehouse automation costs a lot of money. The technology is expensive, and hiring more labor is a better option. This, however, is not correct. While all warehouses need employees, high labor costs seriously affect how business is conducted. Although automation does cost money, it helps with saving money as well. The human errors are reduced, and the overall time completion for various processes is improved. All warehouses need a healthy balance between automation technology and employees.
Common warehouse management problems and their solutions – explained!
Now that we have discussed the most common warehouse management problems and their solutions, we can all conclude that the answer lies in warehouse automation. The advancement of technology is the key to solving organizational problems and helping your business grow.
Chuck Ladel is the content creator and blogger for Peasley Transfer & Storage. The focus of his articles is on business growth and solving operational issues within the logistics industry.