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Key Challenges Faced in Warehousing Management

November 21, 2019 Warehousing

What if you could revolutionize your warehouse?

Warehousing management remains one of the biggest challenges for any business. It takes exponential amounts of time and energy to manage everything.

However, by understanding these challenges, you can overcome them. Keep reading to discover the key challenges to good warehouse management and how to handle them.

Available Space

There are many challenges your warehouse offers. Let’s start with the most obvious: space limitations.

If you have a small area to keep inventory, then you have two options. You can either settle for stocking very limited supplies or determine a more efficient method of storing supplies.

Some of our favorite solutions include pallet and racking systems. This lets you effectively “build up” and go vertical with your storage solutions.

The trick to space management is to combine vertical storage solutions with optimal picking paths (more on this later). This ensures that workers still have quick access to everything in the warehouse.

Accurate Inventory

Another major inventory issue is accuracy. It is obviously very important for a business to know what is in their warehouse at all times.

There are two methods for improving the accuracy of warehouse inventory. The first is to invest in an inventory management system that is easy and intuitive for workers to use on a regular basis.

The second method is better employee training. No matter the inventory management software on hand, most accuracy issues are a product of human error.

Buying better software is is just one step. The next is training employees to handle unexpected inventory problems.

With a combination of accurate software and intensive employee training, a business can avoid the kinds of inventory accuracy problems that only compound over time.

Inventory Location

As noted above, inventory space is a major issue for any business to contend with. On a related note, inventory location can be either part of the problem or a major part of the solution.

For example, many small businesses start with a convenient inventory location. But as time goes on, they do not change that inventory location as the business grows.

It is important for a business to update the warehouse layout at least once a year to make management smooth and efficient. At the same time, the business should update its inventory location system to speed up internal operations and to optimize product delivery for customers.

Effective Communication

Of course, inventory management systems and other software do more than tell employees where supplies are. These systems also ensure that employees effectively and efficiently communicate with each other.

This is tied very closely to issues of redundancy (more on this below). Poor communication means that multiple employees may be doing something that only requires one employee.

While that is already a poor use of human resources, it also creates unnecessary delays in management and shipping services. Such a slowdown hurts customer service and impacts the bottom line of a business. 

Redundancy Everywhere

It’s relatively easy for a business to determine if it has a redundancy problem. All they have to do is look at their tickets and related documentation and discover how many people must sign off on everything.

If it takes multiple people to fill out something like a pick ticket, this is a major problem. And that problem replicates exponentially and slows the entire warehouse management process down.

This is why good barcode technology and other innovations are so crucial for any warehouse. They let businesses reduce unnecessary redundancy.

Such a reduction can improve almost every aspect of inventory management. And any business adopting that technology for the first time will likely be surprised at what a game-changer it really is.

Optimal Picking

Technology is also important when it comes to picking optimization. This is because businesses that still rely on manual processing face the greatest challenges when it comes to optimization.

That’s because “manual processing” typically translates to “leave the picking up to the employees.” Inevitably, employees will take different routes and add unwanted extra time to the entire process.

Businesses can solve this by implementing voice-directed systems or radio frequency systems. Such systems direct each warehouse employee along a specific path as they work.

This is what “optimization” truly looks like. Once a business has determined an optimal picking method, it is crucial to ensure that each employee follows the method quite directly.

Quality Control

One aspect of inventory management that often falls by the wayside is quality control. And this can result in several unwanted situations.

For one thing, those in charge of quality control are often in charge of picking, packing, and shipping. Of course, this means their attention is often divided between 3 different tasks, slowing things down.

If the same employee focuses too much on quality control, those other responsibilities suffer. But if they ignore quality control, the final product suffers and the business may lose customers.

The simplest solution to this problem is for a business to split these responsibilities up. One division should be in charge of quality control in charge of picking, packing, and shipping.

By putting a greater focus on each set of tasks, a business can improve everything from inventory management to supply chain speed.

Customer Expectations

Customers have higher shipping expectations than ever before. This is largely due to the popularity of online vendors such as Amazon.

As a company, Amazon has built an empire on fast delivery. Customer orders arrive exactly when the company has promised.

To compete and succeed, other businesses must be able to promise fast delivery and then follow through. However, inventory management problems can lead to failed deliveries and disappointed customers.

It’s possible for a business to create fast and reliable shipping. The secret is technology and enhanced employee training. And this is the cornerstone upon which a small business can rapidly grow.

Warehousing Management: The Revolution Is Now

These are the secrets to warehousing management. Fortunately, there is a company that makes good inventory management accessible and affordable.

We specialize in warehouse management, last-mile delivery, and so much more. To see what we can do for your business, just contact us today!