For many companies, their success is tied directly to their efficiency or lack thereof. One of the things that determines whether or not a company is an efficiently run business is its warehouse production processes.
These processes can make the difference between a company making a healthy profit or going into the red. With that in mind, below are four ways to maximize your warehouse production processes.
1. Pay for Productivity
To create a productive production process, you are going to need productive employees above all else. While we would hope all employees would strive to be as productive as possible while on the clock, that is not always the case. While supervisors can keep a tab on workers’ productivity, it’s an even better idea to provide a strong incentive for them to work hard. That way, employees will try to be productive for a reason.
Incentive-based pay is a proven strategy for increasing warehouse productivity. A warehouse’s picking and packing procedures are a good place to start in regards to implementing incentivized pay. However, put some thought and strategy into your incentivized pay program. You don’t want to be paying extra for productivity you would have regardless.
2. Choose the Right Partners
Having an efficient warehouse production process does not happen in a vacuum. Many other firms outside of that company must be involved. You need suppliers, distributors and other contractors involved in the process to make sure you have what you need to create and ship your products. You need to be able to form lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with such companies to achieve peak efficiency.
If you, however, choose a supplier that has issues with quality control or timeliness of shipments, it can certainly throw a wrench into your entire production process. Make sure to work with the best firms but also make sure who you choose is cost effective for your operations. If one partner doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to hire someone else.
3. Implement Customized Warehouse Software
Today, running a productive warehouse also means implementing the right technology. One of the most important pieces of warehouse tech you should deploy is a warehouse management software suite. Consider working with a company like contractERP that can help you develop customized ERP software to meet your needs. If your warehouse supplies construction materials, for example, you may need features that address seasonal product procurement that don’t affect other industries.
Overall, such ERP software should be designed around keeping track of inventory, orders, shipments, supplies and more. Such a system should be used to let management know exactly what you have on hand at all times and where it is located in the warehouse. When you run low on stock, the software should have the ability to automatically reorder stock to ensure that your production processes keep running smoothly without significant gaps.
4. Place a Strong Emphasis on Production Engineering
According to Forbes, lowering inventory to cover a business for three weeks as opposed to four can create savings as high as $65 million for certain companies. This is nothing to scoff at. However, making your warehouse production processes that much more efficient won’t happen on its own.
To make those kinds of savings a reality, you need to place a strong emphasis on production engineering to create warehouse processes that are that efficient. Amazon, for example, has become so advanced with its warehouse processes that many customer orders are now prepared by robot. While many companies can’t afford robotics, rethinking how your production process works with an eye towards improved efficiency and lower costs can certainly bear fruit for your company.
Efficiency is one of the keys to forming a competitive advantage as a business. Definitely obtain the tools you need to make your production processes more efficient. Don’t fear change.