The techniques in warehouse management are based on set procedures and scheduling; warehouse optimization is the primary key to efficient and effective warehouse operation (regardless of the size or location of warehouses). The process of warehouse optimization begins strictly with automation and maintaining a time-effective, cost-effective, space-efficient and resources-effective techniques and methodology. Warehouse must be expertly optimized to beat any challenges or competitions whatsoever with flexible techniques set to improve flexibility, communication chains, error, management, and most important of all, improving customers satisfaction in the long-run.
However, there are some significant challenges managers face in warehouse optimization related to unseen errors, lack of transparency and inefficiency. This factor can be corrected by warehouse management systems and automated material handling and identification. This challenge range from lack of inventory accuracy, redundant process that hinders efficiency, knowing the best situation of inventory location as well as lack of efficient space management
Major warehouse optimization techniques-
- Automation- Automation is the efficient key to optimizing warehouse operations, major warehouse management systems should be automated. Processes involving picking, packing, transporting and even shipping should be fully automated with least human touches requirements. Efficient automation enables handling operations in real time, save time and energy as well as being cost-efficient in the long-run as manual labor is exterminated. Automation also ensures efficient collection of data in a more improved, accurate and quick way.
- Layout design– Optimizing a warehouse at its full peak also constitutes having a perfect warehouse layout design. Space is a rare entity; the layout of a warehouse should, however, be utilized and managed as efficiently as possible without hindering the overall placements of warehouse machinery, equipment, and goods. To achieve an efficient layout design, managers should analyze storage processes, picking, cross-docking assembly and handling lines to plan for the future.
- Identification- To efficiently optimize a warehouse, several tracts and tracks need to be identified, products and locations should be identified with regards to picking and putaway. Warehouse managers should also put it in mind to identify sagging lanes and storage areas. Labels should be quickly read on pallets, cartons and storage shelves. The most efficient way of identification is the durable floor label system.
Other significant techniques of warehouse optimization which managers fail to identify include provision of training tools, maintenance and purchasing of low-cost equipment, general maintenance of facilities and equipment, ventilation and cooling of the warehouse, standardized paperwork and managing the storage mediums.