Businesses need to maintain an organized and structured warehouse. Organization in an active warehouse means controlling the movement and placement of items or pallets. Here are five tips that will help any business to keep a warehouse organized and running efficiently.
5. Use the Correct Racking
One of the simplest ways to maintain an organized warehouse is to choose the correct type of racking. Selective racking is similar to a utility shelf and holds one pallet or carton in each location. It is best for low-volume warehouses. Drive-in racking holds pallets up to 30 units deep. Vehicles drive into this type of racking to remove or stock pallets. This is best for warehouses using carton picking or dealing in large volumes of only a few different item types. Carton flow racking uses angled shelves to refill spots automatically when an item is picked from the front. This is the most efficient and organized type of racking for high-volume warehouses with many different types of items.
4. Maintain Simple Aisles
Some warehouses develop slowly over time as more racks are added to handle higher material volumes. Any warehouse layout should include straight and clearly defined aisles in every area. Simple aisles that are wide enough for multiple employees will prevent bottlenecks that slow down work and create disorganization because of restocking or crowding. A basic grid layout will make finding items easier for new employees. Straight and wide aisles also make it easier to stock items and perform inventories.
3. Organize Items with Electronic Inventory System
If you haven’t gone electronic with your inventory system yet, it’s time to get with the times. This might mean arranging items by stock keeping unit (SKU) numbers. Other businesses might have success organizing items by relation so that common accessories or upsales are all located in the same aisle as the primary product. Some warehouses place the most popular items closest to shipping or assembly stations so that employee movements are optimized. This will create an organized structure that can be followed when adding new items.
2. Label or Tag Everything
The best way to organize your warehouse is to label everything. This means labeling shelves, aisles, workstations and even cells. Unmarked locations or shelves can cause confusion, incorrect picking and incorrect stocking. If there are excess items going to be put in Albuquerque NM storage, label those as well. It is also helpful to use newer tracking systems for organization such as pick-to-light, radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging or bar codes. This will reduce stocking and picking errors that affect inventory counts and accuracy.
1. Establish Clear Stations and Workflow
Maintaining an organized warehouse means establishing clear areas for tasks like packing, assembly, quality assurance and shipping. It also means that a clear workflow must be established. A workflow could involve zone-based picking, material handling conveyors or computerized management systems that assign work on a per ticket basis. A clear workflow will allow pickers and stockers to work efficiently. This will increase service levels and individual performance. It will also prevent items from being distributed throughout the warehouse because of confusion, impromptu workstations or poor picking and packing habits.
Controlling the movement of items in a warehouse involves selecting the right tools and enforcing best practices. Employees who do not follow correct procedures could easily negate any advantage racking or other organization systems provide. Organization in an active warehouse means establishing a system where workers, equipment and the layout of the floor all work together harmoniously.