3 Ways to Create an Efficient Warehouse
Thereâ€™s no question that a productive warehouse is a profitable warehouse. When it comes to maintaining your competitive edge, delivering quality work efficiently usually means greater return on investment. For starters, here are 3 great ways to help you to scale the wall of productivity and profit.
Safety First: Work Environment Optimization
Safety is the uncompromising principle behind every efficient warehouse. Warehouses understand that a forklift-related accident can create serious (and fatal) consequences, while slowing down work efficiency. Besides providing ongoing employee safety training workshops to warehouse workers and forklift operators, warehouses can re-evaluate their work setting and make some simple changes.
For example, optimizing your lighting system and installing mirrors around sharp corners can dramatically boost workplace visibility and keep your employees well-aware of their surroundings. Widening some of the narrow aisles, on the other hand, will also give forklift operators more room and space to turn and move about. Finally, keep all running electric cords out of the way, and equip workers with walkie-talkies or radios to promote open communication.
Productivity: Technology Integration
While every warehouse should make sure that their material handling team is fully-staffed, upgrading the quality of your workhorses will give you an extra lift in workplace productivity. According to Material & Handling Logistics (MHL), technological development in the material handling industry has streamlined many of the logistics and management tasks in the warehouse. â€śThe Internet of Things (IoT) has many applications in the supply chainâ€”for example, warehouse stock levels can be continually monitored so that stocks can be replenished whenever sensors detect a near-out-of-stock situation.â€ť
Additionally, warehouses with routine and repetitive material handling jobs should seriously consider automated guided forklifts and outsource their human power elsewhere. That way, you can have machines getting the jobs done without risking any of your valuable employees. All in all, an efficient warehouse is one that knows how to take advantage of connected devices to plan and manage its daily routines, work routes, schedules, and inventory.
An efficient warehouse not only promotes a safe work environment, but also encourages sustainable warehouse management and practices. A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopersÂ found that there is a great correlation between â€śthe green of profitâ€ť and â€śthe red of high and volatile energy costs.â€ť According to MHL, the reality that energy demand is going to increase by at least 50% in the next 15 years has led 70% of the manufacturing execs and 76% of the logistics exec to feel concerned and even slightly alarmed.
To pursue eco-friendliness, warehouses can consider installing a set of new High-Intensity Discharge lighting systems, which according to the US Small Business Administration, are much more efficient today than they were just 10 years ago. Having lighting controls that include occupancy and daylight sensors will also cut back on unnecessary lighting and save you generously on energy bills. Finally, motor-driven roller conveyors are also a recommended alternative that can be internally controlled and easily implemented to reduce energy cost.
Cheers for Greater Efficiency
An efficient warehouse is a warehouse that can effectively implement various safety, technological, and sustainable measures to safeguard their investment. Among all the things you can do to increase warehouse productivity, making sure that your warehouse offers a pleasant and safe work environment are keys to gain employee loyalty and promote work incentives. As always, keep a sharp eye out for the latest technological improvement in the industry to supercharge your productivity with some of those innovations.
Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for theÂ National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter atÂ @TomReddon.
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