Improving Workforce Efficiency Within Warehouses

As per a survey conducted by Intermec, midsized warehouses lose about three thousand working hours each year owing to workforce inefficiency. The survey also found how only around 70% of those warehouse managers conducted timely reviews of processes and practices within their warehouses. While it’s mainly due to unavailability of time and resources, warehouse managers must understand that enhancing their warehouse productivity through increasing their workforce efficiency should be their top priority.

The question is how.

This post would cover some of the most effective strategies that would help you get rid of workforce inefficiencies and get you started towards the right direction.

1. Work upon your warehouse layout

Your warehouse’s layout could be the prime reason why your productivity suffers. It is therefore necessary that you review your layout and plan accordingly so as to increase efficacy. Stack the products based on their productivity, the most sought-after the product is, the higher should be its accessibility. Additionally, you could also choose to invest in a vertical automated storage system.

2. Come up with processes that bolster accountability

It’s often noted that while warehouse managers turn to process automation for improving product flow and order fulfillment, the benefits of which are lost owing to inefficient, careless pickers. Workforce often tries to invent workarounds and bypass the system.

To resolve such errors, managers must focus on devising a workflow that not only creates accountability but also stresses the importance of accuracy. It will ensure that such mistakes do not go unnoticed and the workers responsible are held timely.

3. Maintain a process log

For a warehouse to be productive, accuracy is not a benchmark but a necessity. While most of the warehouses keep a tab on internal picking error, they fail to understand that such error rates fluctuate and that makes it difficult understand what caused the error. They also fail to understand what such metrics indicate.

A meticulous log of any and all changes including new workers, training procedures, implemented technology, etc. would clearly help reflect against errors and changes taking place over time.

4. Educate and empower your workforce

Investing in technology is a pivotal step towards improving workforce efficiency. It is, however, equally important to invest in workforce empowerment. Focus on their core skills, invest in their development and create a lean culture and that would allow your workers to exhibit confidence and continually work towards improving the efficiency. As a result, your warehouse would begin to meet its targeted expectations while still improving throughout over the course of the year.