Efficient warehousing is the need of the hour for a lot of businesses. The movement of a product and the speed at which it is done is all that matters when it comes to customer retention in the modern world. All of your competitors strive to give the fastest delivery options possible, and your customers only care about being served the quickest.
Customer loyalty has become very fragile because of the saturation in the market, which means that businesses have no room to compromise on manageable aspects of the company, such as warehousing. With a few simple tips and changes in your operation, you can improve the end customer's overall experience, save costs for yourself, and make a framework for a process that runs efficiently. So let's take a look at 5 such suggestions to help you improve warehouse efficiency and reduce costs.
1. Storage Optimization
With the rising popularity of e-commerce and online shopping, consumers are very interested in customized products. This means many products have many variants and combinations, which means that the same product has to be stocked differently according to its SKU. This means that you will have to reserve a little bit of every SKU more. If you keep stocking up a lot of everything just to be safe, you will need a lot of storage space in your warehouse.
However, to create more storage space, your options are minimal. You can either buy a new place or expand your current place. This is a very costly affair and can burn a big hole in your profits. Instead, you can try smarter practices like optimizing the space you have currently. You can do that by building storage upward, using the entire height your warehouse has presently. Another tip is to develop narrower aisles. These can be alternating one-way aisles which give you the option of adding more aisles.
2. More Pickup Options
Retail stores have started sending a bunch of their most famous SKUs downstream to smaller retail outlets. This gives the customers more options to order same-day pickup. A product with high demands at specific locations can be picked up at a local store or be home delivered within a few hours.
There are also options for retailers who don't even own warehouses. They can partner up with retailers like Amazon, which provides the option of storing inventory at their many warehouses worldwide. This way, you can send manufactured goods to one of these Amazon warehouses and fulfill the order.
Partnering up with a big company like Amazon means that not only save a lot of warehousing and shipping but also get more product visibility.
3. Implementing WMS
Warehouse Management System refers to software with which your store can be implemented. It is a great way to keep track of all the ingoing and outgoing orders and monitor products' storage. It employs the latest technology like RFID tags and can be installed on a multitude of devices. This way, you can keep your entire warehousing staff on the same system and train them to use it as well.
Another way to modernize your warehouse functions is to add hand-held devices which are ergonomically designed to work with the WMS. These devices have quicker functionality because they are specially built and are also easy to use. They have cameras, RFID scanners, and touch screens for easy functionality.
4. Partnering Up with a 3PL
3PL or a Third Party Logistics Company is a business that specializes in everything related to a supply chain. They take care of all or most functions in a supply chain like transportation, delivery, and most importantly, warehousing.
A 3PL like ARK India will give you professional warehousing solutions like WMS-enabled warehousing and integration of store with warehousing systems. They also give you solid consultation and professional service for warehousing. Relying on a partner that specializes in a particular and essential aspect of business like warehousing will ease the load off your shoulders and allow you to focus more on business.
5. Recurring Inventory Audits
Set up a process to review your inventory every now and again. Businesses have figured out how to make delivery more efficient and quick, but one problem that never changes is the on-hand inventory that just seems to collect dust on the shelves. One way to deal with this is to be a little iron-willed and get rid of dead space in your inventory, which includes products that have been sitting there for a while. You could try and introduce stock clearing sales which bring interest in these products once more.
The idea is to keep the inventory small and flexible so that you have more space for products that will actually sell.