Running a warehouse is a huge challenge and takes a great deal of time and effort, whether you’re in the manufacturing, eRetail, logistics or merchants industry. Here are the 10 best things you can do to maintain a smooth operation all year round.

  1. Be organised

    If you were in the supermarket looking for cheese, you wouldn’t go to the fish counter. The same applies to how you’d organise your warehouse. You’ll find it really helpful to establish a system that organises your materials in a logical and defined order. Group relevant items together, and you’ll increase the efficiency of grabbing the products you need, just like the baking aisle!

  2. Reduce picking times

    The amount of time spent picking orders takes up a big portion of your costs, but if your warehouse is organised well, you can create more efficient picking times, and get stuff out the doors to your customers quicker.

    A big tip for this is to make sure you only touch items once – prevent errors during picking and you won’t need any further repacking, or shipping checking. You can also do this by bringing in assigned zone, batch or wave picking to increase efficiency.

    Alternatively, you could introduce automation. Order pickers spend a huge amount of their time moving stuff around. An automated solution, such as using converyance, could lead to reducing travel time.

  1. Get items packed faster and more consistently

    When your packaging process slows down, so does business. Slow packaging and dispatch causes multiple problems; it’s the cause of some of the main challenges warehouse managers and production managers face on a daily basis.

    Automated systems can help with this struggle in so many ways. Case erector machines help speed up the process of erecting and sealing boxes, with some even able to assemble 25 per minute. This is because they get rid of the need to manually pre-erect boxes prior to being packed. With these case erectors, there’s less down-time as machine jams and transport damage are reduced by 50%.

  1. Keep your warehouse safe

    A high number of work-related injuries take place in the warehouse, and according to Koke Inc. most of those injuries come from slips and falls, lifting, pushing, pulling and reaching, material handling, and forklift accidents.

    Reducing manual handling is a way you can avoid work-related injuries, so something automated might do the trick. And depending on the system or systems you choose, it could also make it safer to store and retrieve products, which overall makes the process more efficient for you.

  1. Train staff for multiple jobs

    As processes can change pretty often in the warehouse, training your employees will always be an important thing to do, no matter if they’re experienced at working with you or brand new to the environment.

    Cross-training is a great way to make sure your people have the skills to handle more than one kind of job in the warehouse, so if someone can’t work for whatever reason, the other guys will have no problem picking up their job. This also helps when introducing new technologies to the environment like automation, as this frees up people to concentrate on other familiar areas of the packaging process.

  1. Use the right packaging machinery

    There’s so many choices of packaging machinery for material handling and warehouse management, from filling, to packing, to wrapping to stacking. You might not even need a full automation package, just at one or two stations. But lots of providers offer free trials, so you can take your time testing out what works best for your business.

  2. Make better use of floor space

    When things get messy on the floor, not only does it create safety hazards, but your workflow is also bound to get disrupted. Using the right solutions can help you free up space and get things done faster. One solution is the automated and semi-automated stretch-wrapping systems, which offer versatile and flexible solutions to secure loads that can be moved around the warehouse as needed, freeing up vital floor space. Other on-demand solutions like self-erecting crash-lock boxes are easily stored and assembled as and when you need them, freeing up yet more floor space.

  3. Prepare for the unexpected

    Preparing for peaks in demand is crucial if you want your business to succeed, especially around Christmas and Black Friday. To ensure your warehouse is flexible enough to cope with both the expected and the unexpected, you’re going to need to speed up your operation, make sure your staff can be freed up to concentrate on other areas, and provide a more consistent, tailored workflow. Luckily, we have a few blogsthat might help with that.

  4. Reduce packaging waste

    Minimising your packaging waste helps make room for more warehouse space and improves your company image. If you can achieve less wasted materials, you’ll find you’ll need fewer vehicles to make deliveries and more cash to spend on other areas. A great example of this is using the right-sized box for your orders as it offers better protection, reduces the number of costly returns, and saves space in your warehouse as there’s no need for bulky void fill to be stored away. Learn more about warehouse space optimisation


  5. Make pallets secure

    Consistently and securely wrapped pallets help make sure your packages don’t get rejected and sent back to your warehouse to be returned or repackaged. Enhancing your customer experience in this way will make things smoother your end, as well as safer. Pallets, non-slip papers, stretch films, corner protection brackets and strapping can all be used to stabilise loading units during transport. You could also introduce machinery for processing. It’ll help you cut down on damages and claims, reduce theft, and prevent accidents and fines, promoting a more positive company image.