When it comes down to it, managing a warehouse comes with its own unique set of challenges. Mainly, these challenges have to do with inventory: where to put it, how to stack it, how to handle it and so on. If you think about it, your warehouse is the keystone of your business – it is the buzzing nerve center where all your products are processed, shipped and delivered to clients and customers all across the globe. This is why you want to avoid a number of common issues that can happen in a warehouse. Disorganization can cause a slew of different problems – from injuries to merchandise being late. All of these issues can be costly in a plethora of ways. Here are some common warehouse inventory issues to avoid.
- Not stacking inventory. Many warehouses – surprisingly – don’t stack certain items. Most of these items are left unprotected – boxes piled on top of boxes. Not only can this present the risk of broken inventory, but it can also cause the whole warehouse to be unorganized. What happens if you have to pick a particular inventory number for shipping? – If it isn’t stacked, you will have a much harder time pulling it. This is why you need to head to the Material Handling Exchange to purchase the appropriate sized pallets for your warehouse.
- Not stacking correctly. Once you do have pallets – or if you already have pallets – you want to make sure that you stack correctly. In most cases, you want the heavier items to be on the bottom. By keeping the heavy items on top, you present the risk for injuries among your warehouse workers. Having to constantly pull large items from the top of racks can put a lot of stress on the back.
- Not placing fast moving inventory in the front of the warehouse. It is critical that you place the most popular and fastest selling inventory in the front of the warehouse. You want to do this for the sake of being able to pull the items in a more timely and efficient manner. If you have to continually run to the back of your warehouse, you are slowing down the entire shipping process. By reorganizing your inventory by this hierarchy, you will notice a huge spike in efficiency.
- Not having an inventory tracking system. It is also critical to make sure your inventory has a tracking system. How else will your warehouse employee know how much of a certain item is in stock? Not only should there be a number, there should also be a status report. You want to know how much of a certain product is on the shelves, what is waiting to be processed and how much of certain merchandise has already been shipped.
- Not using automated services. Instead of having to physically and manually pull, move and bring merchandise to certain areas of the warehouse, you may want to think about motorizing and automating some of these services. In the end, automating can make your warehouse more efficient and productive.