According to a report, written by McKinsey & Company in 2019, £300 billion (around $385 billion) is being spent globally, each year, on warehousing costs. This is an extortionate amount of money and some of it can be saved for other purposes if you can overcome some of the most common warehouse management challenges out there.
Problems that occur in and around the warehouse can cost a business thousands of pounds annually, so what are the most common issues that warehouse owners come across and how can you solve them?
A disorganised warehouse layout
A warehouse that is disorganised and messy can cause all manner of problems, including:
- Slips, tips and falls in the workplace
- Possible lawsuits against your company for employee injuries suffered as a result
- Poor picking and processing times
- Stock becoming outdated or food and drink becoming expired – they will have to be discarded as a result and, therefore, money will be lost
- Stock falling from racking as a result of messy unloading – this could cause injuries or damage of stock, which will have to be thrown away
What you need to do is optimise your warehouse storage space. Do this by implementing additional warehouse racking, using VNA forklifts, 3-wheeled electric forklifts and multi-directional forklifts to navigate narrow aisles. You should also look into having mezzanine floors constructed as stock can be stored both on the platform and underneath. You’ll also need to implement state-of-the-art warehouse management systems (WMS) so as to learn, in real time, the amount of stock you have and where it is in your warehouse.
Having inventory that’s badly managed
If you’ve been experiencing the following issues in your warehouse, then it could mean that you’re experiencing poorly maintained inventory records:
- Expecting to find a product in one place only to find it’s been put in another location
- Accepting orders assuming you have enough stock to fulfil it, but you don’t
- Denying orders after assuming you do not have enough stock to fulfil it, but you actually do
- Trying to place stock received but experiencing trouble doing it
As already touched upon, a WMS will help to mitigate all of those issues, especially if it’s the most advanced, state-of-the-art one on the market. Where this can be an expensive initial outlay, it should be considered an investment as opposed to just another piece of equipment you need to buy. A WMS will help you in terms of:
- Helping you pinpoint exactly where stock is
- Understanding how much of everything you have
- Determining how much space you have in and around your warehouse for additional stock acquisition
- Getting to know the inventory/stock situation throughout your warehouse prior to making decisions in terms of accepting orders or additional inventory
Inadequately preparing for seasonal demand
Where you might have some products that remain popular all year round, there will be others that are only in demand during certain times of the year. If you know this to be the case, then it’s important that you prepare for this sudden influx of orders way ahead of time.
You need to ensure that your warehouse can comfortably receive fresh stock and fulfil orders as and when they come in to ensure customer satisfaction all year round and that includes during peak times.
Stay in control and meet even the toughest seasonal demands by doing the following:
- Stay in contact and communicate well with manufacturers distributors, retailers, transporters and other sources in your supply chain
- Use demand forecasting techniques so as to estimate which products will be popular and when
- Organise and arrange products in such a way that access will be easy and straightforward, thus helping you to push seasonal products faster
- Consider the use of warehouse tools and equipment, including automation systems such as pallet flow rack systems, to ensure your processes continue smoothly
Refurbished Forklifts are on hand to provide our customers with material handling solutions that are both affordable and will stand the test of time. With used forklifts and second-hand warehouse equipment available, you’ll be able to buy a refurbished electric forklift, reconditioned reach trucks and used LPG forklifts to help meet your needs and requirements every single time. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our team – we’re always happy to hear from you.