4 Ways to Optimize Your Warehouse Operations for Fulfillment
eCommerce is an insane concept if you think about it. Someone clicks a button from their home and the next thing they know, a product is at their doorstep.
Of course, that’s not where the story begins or ends for sellers. There’s so much that goes into getting a product made, shipped, and delivered to a customer. One of the key aspects of this process is warehouse optimization. It’s important for vendors to know how to optimize warehouse operations for the best performance possible.
Amazon FBM sellers now have a huge incentive to optimize their warehouse operations. With Amazon’s new Seller Fulfilled Prime program, sellers can enjoy the benefits of Amazon Prime without having to opt-in to Amazon’s FBA program.
Every seller on Amazon is unique. And they face their own unique problems with warehouse operations. However, there are some things that apply to warehouse operations across the board.
Today, we’re going to explain 4 ways you can optimize your warehouse operations for fulfillment.
Benefits of Optimizing Your Warehouse Operations
But first, let’s go over the benefits of optimizing your warehouse operations. Warehouse optimization is the process of tweaking the use of time, space, and resources in order to create a more efficient and error-free output.
- A minimized workload. With streamlined processes in the workspace, employees and managers will find that warehouse storage and picking won’t be as tiring or time-consuming. This frees up their time to accomplish other tasks or get more orders done.
- Better inventory management. An optimized warehouse is cleaner, more spacious, and easier to navigate. Great inventory management could improve a business in many ways. One of those is more accurate forecasting.
- Saving money. An efficient workspace can move products at a faster pace and will minimize mistakes. Every time a wrong shipment goes out, a business pays $22 on average to fix the mistake.
- A safer work environment. With less stress put on workers and cleaner space, accidents can be mitigated.
1. Optimize Warehouse Space
Your warehouse space is crucial to the success of the operation. There are plenty of upgrades you can implement to optimize warehouse space. Let’s go over some of the big ones.
Understand Product Velocity
Product velocity is the rate at which certain items sell. Your catalog is bound to have some more hot-selling items. It’s important to know which products sell the most and at what rate.
Your warehouse layout and design must allow easy retrieval of these items. These items should be closer to the packing area. If a group of items is often sold together, then keep them close to each other.
It’s important to predict which items are going to become hot-sellers, as well. For example, jackets are going to sell more during the winter than in the summer. A warehouse leader could plan to move the jackets closer to the packing area to meet demand. The same applies to products that are going on sale.
Click here to learn about the 4 stages of the Amazon product life cycle & how to make the most out of them! Understanding the life cycle of a product could make it easier to predict and monitor sales.
Software could help you and managers forecast sales.
Keep the Quality Control and Packaging Areas Close Together
Keeping these stations close together will minimize any errors in the transfer of products between them.
Regularly Revisit Rack Organization
It’s good practice to consistently revisit how you’re organizing your racks. Changes happen very often in the eCommerce space and there could be something you can tweak that’ll smooth out the whole process.
Consider asking your employees about their thoughts on the space. They might give you valuable insight that can help you reorganize the space.
2. Invest in Employees
Investing in your employees is never a bad idea. Ensure they’re properly trained and treated.
Keeping your employees happy and making them feel heard could keep them in your warehouse. When employees are unhappy, they leave. And when they leave, your warehouse efficiency suffers.
By investing in your employees, you must also invest in overall warehouse safety. This includes:
- Protecting against slips and falls. Proper equipment and auditing could help. You should also require everyone to wear anti-slip shoes.
- Provide cleaning tools. Employees should keep their stations clean and giving them the right tools will help out.
- Install proper lighting. Bright lighting could keep employees safe by allowing them to easily navigate the warehouse and pick products.
The OSHA Pocket Guide can give you all the information you need on what safety protocols to follow.
3. Minimize Errors
Mistakes happen. But we can learn from those mistakes and prevent them from happening.
Big signs could help workers identify products. They could prevent workers from getting them confused with other products.
You shouldn’t mix multiple SKUs in the same area.
If possible, you should only have 2-3 standard shipping package options. The fewer packing procedures there are, the less likely a worker will make a mistake by putting a product into the wrong package.
4. Monitor Products Moving In & Out
It’s important to monitor your moving products. Keep track of those coming in and those moving out. It’s a lot easier said than done, though.
Counting products and putting them into data sheets can become overwhelming. It’s important to have a trusted leader or employee do this.
Each package moving out should have a printed label on it and should also be counted.
Automating this process can be a great solution to data-entry problems that warehouses face.
Optimizing your warehouse operations definitely won’t be an overnight process, but it’s definitely worth it.
Optimized warehouse operations will lead to a more profitable business that’ll enable growth.
A huge part of optimizing your warehouse’s operations is data entry and inventory forecasting. Both are huge undertakings for a team, let alone one person. That’s why ShipmentBot is here to help!
ShipmentBot is advanced software that can automate repetitive Amazon tasks. ShipmentBot can forecast sales, print labels, and even create & send out data reports!
Check out ShipmentBot today to automate repetitive Amazon tasks and grow your business.