When you work in the supply chain, your ability to stay nimble and react to changes requires a top-down organizational approach. Often, a big part of such strategies will require you to rethink your internal processes when it comes to how your employees complete their tasks every day and how efficiently you can run all various aspects of your operations. That kind of versatility and flexibility will serve you well as you try to grow.
With that in mind, it's a good idea to strive to improve all aspects of your business from time to time, including the following steps:
1) Reconsider your inventory storage
If you're not properly storing your inventory - with the most popular items on the shelving closest to the packing area, and typically at or around eye level - you may be losing precious seconds on every order, according to Dear Systems. An extra 30 or 45 seconds spent picking items for a given order may not be a big deal, but if it's consistently happening, that's a lot of lost productivity.
2) Label everything
You never want to leave anything to chance when it comes to picking and packing; a single incorrect order can create major logistical headaches, Dear Systems added. With that in mind, it's important to make sure everything is properly labeled (and stored where it's supposed to be) so that even the newest picker on your team knows exactly what they're grabbing.
3) Maximize storage space
It's also a good idea to make sure you're getting the most out of the cubic footage of shelving space you have in your facility, according to Kardex Remstar. Just like every extra few seconds on one picking job, a few wasted cubic inches here and there may not seem like much, but if it's a persistent problem, you might end up running short on space sooner than you expect.
4) Clean regularly
A clean workplace is great for a lot of reasons, both aesthetically and as it relates to keeping workers motivated, Kardex Remstar noted. Moreover, it's also important for employee safety, so you never have to worry about people slipping and tripping, and potentially injuring themselves. After all, when a workplace injury occurs, you may have to shut down entire sections of your warehouse for an hour or more.
5) Train your staffers
Like most businesses, you likely train newly hired workers but may not provide much additional training or guidance beyond that, Kardex Remstar further advised. If that's the case, you may be missing a lot more opportunity than you realize.
6) Consistently assess the state of your equipment
Just like you should consistently make sure your employees are operating at their best, you should do the same for the equipment they use, according to Emerge. A regularly testing and repair strategy will help you stay on top of any emergent issues and address them before they become a problem.
7) Review how everything is working
Finally, it's always smart to ensure you are consistently reviewing all appropriate data and finding areas of improvement, Emerge said. That way, you are never resting on your laurels, organizationally speaking, and help promote ongoing growth and success.