New Articles

5 Practical Ways to Reduce Human Errors in Your Warehouse

BBI north warehouse Myfbaprep

5 Practical Ways to Reduce Human Errors in Your Warehouse

Human errors often undermine warehouse productivity. Profit and reputation are slowly eroded with each mistake that occurs. Everyone makes mistakes; any member of your workforce could go to the wrong location, forget to scan an item, or inadvertently pick up an incorrect quantity. These errors may be considered acceptable for running a warehouse, but they can be mitigated with the right strategies.

While human error may be responsible for some mistakes, the root cause most likely lies in your systems, processes, technology, environment, or equipment. Identifying and addressing the underlying issues can significantly reduce these errors. Here are five practical solutions that have proven highly effective:

1. Evaluate Your Storage Strategy

Take the time to periodically assess your storage methods and make necessary adjustments to optimize efficiency and utilize your warehouse space effectively. This strategy can considerably reduce human errors and should be one of the first things to take care of. Put in place the following:

High-demand items should be placed in easily accessible locations near the packing area. But do not lose focus – popular products will likely change over time. Make sure you regularly review your stock to understand trends and relocate the new in-demand items when needed.

Check to ensure proper labeling of all storage lots, slots, and bins has been carried out: every storage location should be clearly and accurately signed to avoid confusion and prevent misplaced items.

Use individual bins for each product and avoid storing multiple items within one bin, which can lead to picking complications. Each bin should contain only one type of product to simplify picking.

Conducting routine inventory checks is vital to help identify mislabeled or misplaced items, which are common causes of picking errors. Addressing mistakes during replenishment prevents downstream issues.

Consistently assign the same location for items with the same SKU. Keeping products with identical stock-keeping units in dedicated locations reduces the chances of errors during picking.

2. Implement a Warehouse Management System for Automation
Utilizing technology is a surefire way to reduce human error in the warehouse. The right technology can enhance workforce productivity and efficiency, leading to increased profitability. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a specialized software package designed to streamline, regulate, and optimize warehouse operations. The best systems organize and control every aspect, from when items enter to when they are shipped out.

An outstanding feature of a WMS is the capability to generate smart pick lists. These lists provide employees with the most efficient route through the warehouse, optimizing their picking process and reducing mistakes. By leveraging the power of a WMS, you empower your workforce to operate with error-free precision.

Other exciting technological advancements in warehouse management include using drones and robots. Keeping abreast of the latest knowledge and innovation is essential to improving accuracy and reducing errors.

3. Checks, Measures and Validation
To effectively reduce mistakes, measuring their frequency during specific periods is crucial. Choose a consistent measure, such as the percentage of accurately picked orders on the first attempt, to help your analysis. Also, consider factors beyond the warehouse, like return and complaint rates. A reliable WMS system can assist in measuring and reporting these errors.

Emphasize responsibility and involvement by holding warehouse staff accountable for their errors. The use of labels and barcodes helps to identify workers or products that cause specific issues. Look for trends and take action – it may not be an individual but  a problematic process or location.

Depending on the severity and frequency of errors, you may need to decide whether additional steps are necessary. Weight checks or triple signatures involving the picker, checker, and driver are alternative options depending on your process, workforce, and available technology.

When you have accurate numbers, it’s easier to spot trends and issues. A robust and measurable system must be implemented to collect good data. Don’t leave it to guesswork.

4. Improve The Working Environment
A fatigued and uncomfortable workforce will likely make errors. Simple changes like providing comfortable floor matting in areas where employees stand for extended periods can make a significant difference. Air conditioning, heating or better lighting may also add to your staff’s comfort. Don’t consider it an expense; view it as an investment in your people. Show your team that you care about their well-being as they operate the warehouse.

Make sure that all storage areas are easy to access. If you hold large, heavy items, such as engineered wood flooring or furniture, the product must be easy to move by forklift. When shifting things is difficult, errors occur because staff are reluctant to complete the work correctly.

5. Take a Look at Employee Satisfaction
When staff feel demotivated, they are not invested in your company, and workers who are pushed to reach unachievable targets cut corners. Both of these factors lead to mistakes that hurt your bottom line.

Ensure that your workplace is open and honest. Allow workers to admit errors without fear of the repercussions – establish a reporting route or process that is easy to use. Take error admission as an opportunity to improve things and lower the rate of mistakes.

You can raise morale in many ways; put steps in place to ensure your workforce is engaged, motivated, accountable, and adequately rewarded. Drive down mistakes and increase productivity in a more original way – a blame culture is never successful in the workplace.

In Summary
Reducing human errors in your warehouse is critical. Mistakes impact productivity, efficiency, and overall success. You can make a considerable difference by implementing a series of practical strategies and regularly reviewing the impact.

By adopting these practical approaches, you will develop a culture of accuracy, continuous improvement, and efficiency in your warehouse. Embrace these strategies and pave the way for a thriving, error-free warehouse environment.
forklifts yale

Yale Unveils New Brand Identity at ProMat

Brand positioning addresses the changing demands of today’s warehouses and capitalizes on organizational strengths in research and development, and technology integration

The ProMat trade show got started with a major development from the Yale brand, with the company announcing an updated identity and brand positioning. Introducing Yale Lift Truck Technologies, a new identity to reflect the company’s focus on technology-enabled lift trucks and customer-driven design philosophy to deliver solutions for the labor, safety and productivity challenges in today’s fast-paced warehouse markets.

The updated brand reflects strengths at all levels of the organization, with independent dealers empowered to provide a seamless, responsive customer experience and the factory developing industry-leading lift truck technology solutions. The Yale focus on research and development and technology integration has an established record of bringing technology to market quickly, including commercial deployments of industry-first operator assistance technologies, hundreds of robotic lift trucks, and advanced electric power options.

The independent Yale® dealer network plays an important role in enabling the Yale technology experience on the warehouse floor. Dealers are free from the constraints of factory ownership and are instead empowered to focus solely on customer success, matching them with a solution tailored to their needs and providing the responsive support necessary for real-world results.

The rebranding also includes an updated logo that reflects the capacity of technology to push material handling operations forward. The logo features the same iconic “Yale” text, but with the addition of a box made of arrows that indicates the movement of lift trucks and products in the warehouse, and the brand’s role in advancing the industry and helping customers grow.

To learn more about lift truck technologies and solutions from Yale, visit

About Yale

Yale Lift Truck Technologies leverages over a century of material handling experience and substantial investment in innovation to bring the most advanced technology-driven lift truck solutions to market. The company offers a full line of award-winning lift trucks, including reach trucks, order pickers, turret trucks, pallet jacks and trucks, pallet stackers, tow tractors and counterbalanced forklifts, as well as powerful operator assist solutions, proven robotics and a wide range of power sources to help customers adapt to today’s demanding supply chain. Yale and its independent dealer network support these solutions with comprehensive after-sales service, parts, financing and training.


Top 10 Solutions for Common Warehouse Problems

Warehouse Engineers attended the Modex Conference looking for low-cost solutions to improve warehouse operations. As a previous warehouse manager, I understand traveling isn’t always an option because you have to get orders out the door. No reason to fret, Warehouse Engineers has you covered with 10 solutions to common warehouse problems.

Problem 1: Cycle counts

We’ve all been there… the quarterly cycle count or worse, the full annual. Ware eliminates the cycle counting dilemma. Yes, that’s right, Ware deploys fleets of drones, powered by machine learning, to perform cycle counts. Ware creates the software and analytics that lets the drones do the work, saving time and money.

Problem 2: Tracing orders

Ever had an order delayed by the rail or carrier?

Me!!! I’ve been on the phone with the carrier asking where is my order?

Pallet Alliance developed a platform to track individual pallets from end to end of the supply chain with IoT connectivity. Intellipallets integrate with existing wooden pallets providing efficient tracking of shipments. Once the pallets become “intelligent” they provide information like transit location or stationary time. Now you will know when your order is stuck in a rail yard.

Problem 3: BOL Paperwork

Why does the customer call for the BOL that you can’t seem to find?

BOLs are a necessary evil. You must get the driver to sign for the order, then store the order for years. The process creates so much paperwork, and it’s even harder to track individual BOLs. I hate when the customer calls for a BOL from 3 months ago. The smart people at SMART BOL developed an automated solution for bill of lading signing and document retention. Yes, there’s an app for drivers to sign the BOL and the signature magically goes into the cloud.

Problem 4: Communication Boards

I’ve struggled with outlining a whiteboard for daily huddles. The magnets are not straight, the markers start to fade. Sometimes I spent more time preparing for the meeting than the actual meeting itself. Visual Workplace is a source for Lean & 5S Supplies. They have great templates for KPI Tracking and daily huddles. Visual Workplace can also print dry erase board overlays for kaizen events and root cause analysis.

Problem 5: Workstations

We all know the value of 5S, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” But what if you don’t have a place for everything? Literally, while you are setting tools in order, you are missing a place for a tool. With PioneerIWS, you can easily build a custom workflow to meet your needs. Their Flexturs can be transformed into mobile workstations, shelves, and packaging stations. Setting and Sustaining workstations are a lot easier with PioneerIWS.

Problem 6: Shifted Rail Cars

Ever been nervous about opening a box car?

I’ve been there, crossing my fingers hoping that the pallets are still upright.

Of course, the pallets have shifted and spilled over. Have you ever seen a rail car full of spilled tomato paste, yuck! Shifted cars are a no-win for everyone involved. Filing a claim with the rail line is so difficult, most people don’t bother. The rail always points the finger at the packaging and swears they never hump cars. Next time I have this problem, I’m calling Southern Bracing Systems (SBS) for a solution. SBS manufactures a patented Ty-Gard 2000® approved by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to keep orders in tack. They also provide expert training for AAR-approved cargo securement equipment and cargo restraint systems uniquely designed to prevent damage in transit.

Problem 7: Missing Labels

In wet or grimy conditions, labels just won’t la

I’ve had to label entire warehouses: entry doors, ramps, racks, etc… Sometimes a label just doesn’t work. The Patmark 1533 provides a solution for quick, custom permanent applications. MarkinBOX is the world’s most compact portable marking machine system. Combined with a carbide pin, you can mark on a vast range of surfaces like racks and bins. I wish I had the Patmark 1533 when I 5S’d a battery storage room.

Problem 8: Data Overload

We’ve all heard the phrase “big data” but what do we do with it?

Big data creates value when leaders can make data-driven decisions. With all the data coming from the WMS, ERP, and time clocks, who has time to consolidate the data for reporting? Easy Metrics solves the big data problem by providing custom reports and KPIs for your team. I know tracking labor can be burdensome, at times requiring a full administrator. Easy metrics make it easy for everyone.

Problem 9: Packaging Dimensions

Length, Width, Height…. And where is my tape measuring?

We’ve all had to answer those questions when preparing parcel for delivery. It’s so frustrating when you have a large or heavy box that you need assistance with to get all the dimensions. Sizensor designed an app to instantly capture parcel dimensions. Sizensor has a lot of benefits around the warehouse-like planning a load diagram for new products. Consider how easy the app is to install and use, it’s a win.

Problem 10: Warehouse Space

We need more space.

No warehouse manager wants to tell their president or sales team those words. I’ve lead tens of projects to increase density and utilization. We go vertical, we consolidate, move things around, but sometimes just need more space. When you literally need to pop up a warehouse, ClearSpan is your solution. ClearSpan warehouses can be custom designs or turnkey solutions for the appropriate storage solution.

There you have it, ten solutions for common problems within a warehouse. I hope this information is useful and please share with your colleagues. Collaboration and networking is another benefit of attending conferences. All the companies listed above have great salespeople Warehouse Engineers interacted with. If these are great ideas, and you don’t have the capacity to manage the project contact Warehouse Engineers.
Brandon Ashby, the managing partner, is a certified Project Management Professional who can manage the project for you.