Running a warehouse business can be incredibly lucrative with the right infrastructure and operational structure. First of all, you can boost your warehouse business and cut costs by upgrading the operation as a whole. Second, you can reinvent your labor structure, get new equipment and find a new way to optimize space. Cutting costs is not a simple thing, especially if your aim is to do so by maintaining the full functionality of your warehouse. Here are six tips to help you get things going.
1. Install WMS
With the right warehouse management system, you’ll have a lot easier job of running a warehouse business. With the right WMS, you can get a more efficient way of handling inventory and planning out the layout of the place. The majority of WMS software can also be combined with fleet management tools, which provides you with an end-to-end, logistical system. This way, you will have a direct insight into the process of storage and delivery of a given item every step of the way. If you’re handling just the storage part, the WMS is all that you need.
2. Get the necessary equipment
Adequate materials handling equipment is essential for any warehouse. However, the quality of this equipment, as well as its quantity makes a difference. Sure, your warehouse needs a forklift, however, is one forklift enough. Also, keep in mind that aside from buying, you also have an option of a forklift hire available. Are your pallets small enough that they can be handled by trolleys? Do you need to get some ladders and movable work platforms, as well? Making this wish-list is essential while starting your business. With the necessary equipment, you’ll be able to cut costs quite easily.
3. Leave some maneuvering space
This tip is probably the most counter-intuitive of them all. Why? Well, in theory, storage space in your warehouse directly determines the value that your warehouse is able to generate. If you’re renting out the warehouse space, you’re renting it out by the number of stored items or pallets occupied. Therefore, the more you manage to fit in your warehouse, the better your profit, right?
Well, maneuvering through the overcrowded warehouse takes a tremendous amount of time. The likelihood of knocking something down and damaging it in the process is greater, as well. In other words, by being a bit more realistic with your space management, you may save quite a bit of money. We’re primarily talking about not knocking things down and being able to handle the same workload with a smaller staff.
4. Optimize storage
The next thing to focus on is the physical structure of your storage. Quality shelving and visibility of items stored on them can make orientation a lot easier and save quite a bit of time. The warehouse flow is determined by the paths set in the warehouse and the maneuverability of equipment. While storing, stacking and organizing, you need to think about the retrieval method. This is one of the main features, separating efficient storage from an inefficient one. Keep in mind that using a sign and label system makes a world of difference in the optimization of the storage.
5. Item protection
Every damaged or lost item is a direct loss of profit for your warehouse. This is why you need to do all that you can in orde
r to provide suitable protection. Keep in mind that this can be achieved by a number of methods. First, you need to handle materials-handling equipment properly. This means no overloading or trying to cut corners. Second, you might want to get insurance for the contents of your warehouse. Overall, it’s your job to handle these items safely.
In 2012, Amazon forever cut their total cost of labor by acquiring a robotics manufacturers Kiva Systems, which now goes under the name Amazon Robotics. You see, robots are expensive but they don’t get injured, don’t go on sick leave and have no trouble working on holidays. Now, we’re not suggesting that you should completely replace your workforce with robots, however, by getting a robot or two, you can make the job of your regular warehouse staff a lot easier. It’s also a one-time investment that saves money continuously
In the end, running a warehouse is like running any other type of business. Costs are usually tied to the level of organization within your enterprise. This means that if you decide to reduce the cost, you often risk reducing the overall efficiency, thus hurting your business in the long run. Fortunately, boosting your warehouse business and cutting costs doesn’t have to be the opposite. Instead, you can easily create an intricate system of managed costs and selected methods that aim for optimal cost-efficiency. This is a fail-proof system that is bound to get you exactly what you need.