Does Omnichannel Warehouse Management Work for You? Here’s your checklist!
Keeping warehouses in order is an essential part of everyday business operations. A company must ensure its warehouses operate efficiently so that stocks can arrive in time to fulfil orders. Using best practices, organizations cut time and costs, leading to better operations.
We’ve put together fifteen of the best omnichannel warehouse management practices you can use today.
1. AUTOMATED DATA COLLECTION
Collecting data automatically reduces the workload tremendously and significantly reduces the chance of error. Many distributions and warehouse centres use barcodes and RFID systems to expedite the data collection process. Automating a step reduces the amount of work for management. Furthermore, this approach is much more accurate.
2. SECURE ORDER SELECTION
Warehouse operations are constantly changing, primarily due to technological advancements. Handheld scanners in the past, many technologies have shown their ability to accelerate the picking process, such as wrist-mounted barcode readers, voice pick, and pick-or-put-to-light systems. This technology not only expedites decision making but will also improve the accuracy of picking and order selection.
3. KEEP RECORDS OF EVERY MOTION AS A TRANSACTION
Warehouse processes that cannot be tracked or recorded as transactions should be eliminated. This kind of pre-cleaning is helpful on some occasions but wastes time. These circumstances are sometimes referred to as “turnbacks” and should be reported. By doing so, those in command can come up with solutions to prevent this from happening again.
4. SYNCHRONIZING DATA WITH STREAMLINE PROCESSES
The synchronization of data streamlines the integration of warehouse data and improves visibility. By doing so, data repositories are refreshed with the latest SKU information directly from suppliers while also standardizing product data at the system level. With this integration, conflicts are reduced, rekeying is eliminated, and costs are reduced tremendously.
5. USE SEPARATE TRACKING NUMBERS
Sometimes two products may have the same serial number. It will be challenging to differentiate between two assets if a duplicate number is used as the tracking number. Using tracking numbers from serial numbers will help alleviate this problem.
6. IMPLEMENT A COMPETENT RETURNS PROCESS
Returns are imminent. They can hamper warehouse operations. Not only can they be frustrating, but they are also fundamentally complex. We must identify all returned items during our return processing process, assign each account, assign a disposition, and sort them for processing. With pen-and-paper documentation, this process is challenging to automate. You can use specialized systems, such as Warehouse Management Systems or stand-alone, to support the returns process.
7. DO “ABC” ANALYSIS
According to ABC, A is the most valuable item, and C is the least helpful (A and C as a hierarchy). Using an ABC analysis, you’ll know where to spend time and resources on the things that bring the most value. Also known as the Inventory Categorization Method, this process organizes inventory into categories.
8. PRACTICE CYCLE COUNT
Another way of cutting time and costs is to conduct an ongoing cycle count. The introduction of bi-weekly/weekly cycle counting programs rather than full inventory audits will increase inventory accuracy with minimal disruption. You must replenish essential items on time by maximizing cycle counts for high-demand shipments.
9. ARRANGE SIMULTANEOUS SHIPMENTS
Warehouses that have multiple dock setups can simplify offloading labour. Having the shipments arrive simultaneously prevents separate structure and breakdowns and allows for delivery consolidation. This allows for high performance and increases warehouse efficiencies by increasing timeliness.
10. MAKE ACTIVITIES AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE
Avoid redundant steps whenever possible. Pick directly from the shipping carton instead of an intermediate bin. This will reduce the effort and speed up the process. Consequently, bottom lines improve, and customer relations improve.
11. EXPLORE DYNAMIC SLOTTING
Optimizing warehouse operations based on demand is an excellent way to boost warehouse efficiencies. Picks-per-product placed in the forward-looking schedules allow the operation to operate at the lowest cost and most efficient means.
12. USE CROSS DOCKING
In cross-docking, the products are loaded onto different transport containers without passing through the storage and warehousing processes. With this feature, the middle man is eliminated, and the items are packed instantly. This is most effective for large distribution centers and is commonly used with LTL shipments.
13. IMPOSE SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Top priority should be given to warehouse safety. Companies with inadequate management systems or inadequate resources often fail to promote safety. But a safer warehouse leads to more savings in the long run. Consequently, you can handle warehouse operations much more reliably and efficiently, as well as infrastructure life is significantly extended.
14. MAXIMUM UTILIZATION VERTICAL SPACES
It is vital to use every inch of a warehouse – from floor to ceiling, and not just from wall to wall. It’s the easiest way to store pallets, as well as the most common. This is widely used in manufacturing plants, warehouses, commercial warehouses, and retail stores.
15. COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT
Communication is key to the accomplishment of organizational goals and processes. One of the most effective business practices is having open and transparent communication in the workplace. Effective communication directly increases employee productivity.
Utilizing these 15 best practices for omnichannel warehouses can help handle omnichannel inventory management more effectively. Every business has its demands, and by paying attention to its operations, companies will gain an advantage over their competition.
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