Warehouses are one of the most important pieces of the supply chain puzzle, and it’s critical that all organizations are able to overcome warehouse challenges to maintain a structured, error-free, and efficient environment as much as possible. The way distribution and inventory management has changed over the past 10 years alone requires each organization to reassess what it is doing to keep up with this evolving industry, while continuing to meet the expectations of clients and customers alike.
Space Utilization/Warehouse Layout
Space utilization and layout are one of the major issues warehouses deal with because balancing a safe work environment that is still efficient isn’t easy. Good space utilization coupled with an automated ERP system can help increase overall efficiency and safety. Whether you are currently planning the layout of your warehouse or currently have one you’re looking to make more efficient, there are customization racking systems that can be tailored to suit the specific needs and warehouse setting of your organization.
Right now, Pallet racking is one of the more popular solutions to maximizing warehouse space because Pallet racking is designed for loading and unloading palletized loads by forklift, pallet trucks, low height hand loading, and of course safe storage. Coupling this customizable racking solution, or another, with an automated inventory management system helps maximize space, keep inventory numbers and costs under control, and improves safety and efficiency at the same time.
Without an automated system, companies oftentimes don’t know what they have in stock and the accurate availability of what they offer. Human error is the main contributing factor of inaccurate inventory counts, especially when an organization is still relying on manual counts to some degree to assess inventory needs.
To avoid any mishandling, input errors, failure to follow processes, and the list of other reasons why inventory counts aren’t always accurate, an automated Warehouse Management System that integrates with your ERP in real-time is an absolute must. This ensures that inventory numbers are accurate and up to date across all systems and improves business operations by helping reduce unnecessary inventory, improving customer service, and improving efficiency of your labor force.
It’s not uncommon for the labor force of a warehouse to duplicate a lot of effort by passing pick tickets on from one person to the next, or to still have manual processes in place when there are more efficient alternatives. No matter how well laid out your warehouse is, how skilled your employees are, or how new your forklifts are inefficient processes will only drag your business down.
In order to have strong, more clearly defined processes in place, utilizing an ERP system specifically for your warehouse needs will help outline exactly what can be improved and how through automation of some aspect of a job, or all of it.