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Best Practices to Increase Warehouse Productivity

Increasing productivity in any line of work is a priority. Of course, this shouldn’t come at the expense of your employees’ health. If you choose to introduce inhumane practices which damage their health or motivation, you won’t be in the game for long. The key is to keep people happy and healthy, thus providing fertile grounds for motivation to sprout. This way, your productivity ratings will be the highest they’ve ever been. It all comes down to the right warehouse practices.

1. Rely on technology

We live in the modern era, why not make use of it? Technological advancements are making their way into warehouses very quickly. Most of the processes can now be automated or semi-automated, leaving your employees to focus on more important things.

For example, robotic arms can take care of the picking process by themselves. Or, you can splurge on more advanced conveyors where the speed can be adjusted, allowing your employees to work at a stress-free but productive pace.

2. Prioritize your packaging

The way you pack and organize the system can also influence how productive you are. With a prioritizing system, you’ll be done more quickly and have more important clients taken care of immediately. This means that you won’t have to worry about not finishing their orders and losing big bucks. In fact, because of this practice, the bigger clients have been more impressed with warehouses due to speedy delivery. This, of course, lead to even more business.

Once the big fish is out of the way, you can focus on small and individual packages. These orders are usually easier to fulfill but tend to take up more time because there are more of them. Because you’ve already finished with the bulk orders, you can now focus on these without stress, thus finishing more quickly.

3. Listen to your employees

More often than not, your people will be able to tell you exactly what they need to be more productive. Is it less work? Fewer hours? You don’t have to accept all of their ideas, but listening is what really counts. This way your workers feel important and valued. To enhance the effect, take some of their ideas into consideration or even run with it as this will be a powerful motivator.

For example, the two statements above can be solved by hiring more staff. This way, your workers get to rest a little, but the jobs still get finished. Of course, this also means that a two-person job will remain a two-person job, and not a five-person one like it was up to now. One thing employers seem to forget in these situations is training the new staff. More hands mean nothing if they’re not skilled enough to handle the workload.

4. Invest in equipment

Not having high-quality equipment and machinery can be the thing to slow your people down. After all, how can one be productive when it takes so long to start up a machine or to move a piece of equipment? This is why it’s essential to check all of your machinery and keep up with warehousing equipment trends.

Forklifts are especially important, as they make access to goods as well as sorting and picking much easier and faster. This is why warehouses often turn to experienced professionals such as NFM Forklifts for the best forklift deals. Once they make the switch to modern and updated equipment, most warehouse owners notice the increase in productivity. Of course, this attitude should also be applied to all other pieces of equipment you use on a daily basis.

5. Change the layout

This is your warehouse, there’s no reason you can’t play with the layout. Some people like to experiment with the way the warehouse is designed, thus finding the perfect organizational system for them. A popular design that’s proving effective these days is narrower aisles with higher shelves. This makes it easier to categorize goods and get to them more quickly.

That kind of layout is especially fruitful if you’ve got an increase in business. Since more and more warehouses are experiencing the effects of e-commerce, it’s essential to come up with ways to effectively deal with the increased flow of orders. The layout mentioned above has proven almost perfect thus far.

Conclusion

As you can see, the things you do to change your environment will greatly influence how your employees work. Not only that, but it will influence the way they think. If people are taken care of and their needs are met, they start seeing the good side of the job. This further makes motivates them and makes them want to do their best. After all, when you’ve got all the best tools and practices at your disposal, why not make good use of them?

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Written by Liam Smith

Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.

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