When you research how to increase productivity, you’re not short on options, particularly technological solutions. Software and automation are so advanced today that compared to twenty years ago, present-day warehouses almost look futuristic. These solutions are very effective. However, you might not be in a position to go through such an overhaul, especially an expensive one. Before you make a decision on any high-tech solutions, see how these free steps benefit productivity.
- Clean. No matter how organized your warehouse is, your regular operations mess it up all day every day. Take regular walks to identify opportunities to remove potential risks and bottlenecks. Also, plan cleanup time at the end of the day. Designate a time when you stop processing orders and spend the rest of the shift cleaning up. This gives everyone a fresh slate and better attitude in the morning. Starting the day off in disarray can set a very unproductive pace.
- Start doing cycle counts. You’re already doing once-a-year inventories, but only doing them annually gives small problems a lot of momentum. Schedule periodic cycle counts so you prevent the snowball effect and save yourself time down the road.
- Define your receiving area. Speaking of the snowball effect, problems in receiving will ripple throughout the rest of the chain. These can be disastrous and are often easily avoided. Clearly define the receiving area, providing enough space and the right tools for everyone to do his and her jobs right.
- Use basic Lean techniques. Lean strategies can be very time-consuming and even costly, but the basic techniques can be executed in minimal time and at no cost. 5S and identifying the 8 wastes, for example, are two Lean approaches that involve the entire team to find opportunities to increase productivity, and they don’t require hiring an expert.
Once you’ve taken a few basic steps, you should be able to better flush out some further processes that you can improve without an overhaul. For example, if your packaging is costing you time or money, you should consult with a vendor who can understand your process and meet your needs. There are a lot of things to consider with packaging, from the material to reusability to reliability, and they can all impact productivity. To discuss your options, contact the experts at Packnet. Request a free assessment or call us at 952-944-9124.