Business Automation and Software Blog

Secrets to Boosting Warehouse Productivity

Posted by Robert Baran on Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

At the heart of any business that includes any form of distribution is the warehouse. While efficiency is key to a successful organization, it’s not the only thing you’ll need. Efficiency must be properly balanced with productivity if your business hopes to succeed.

What is the difference between efficiency and productivity? While similar in nature, it’s the difference between quantity (productivity) and quality (efficiency) that defines the two. Productive businesses yield a significant output, but if it takes too long to make the item or there’s a significant investment of time or resources needed to sell it, the business will not be as profitable.

It takes careful planning with the right tools—such as inventory management software—to keep productivity and efficiency in the right degree of tension in order to create a successful business. Take a look at these top tips for making your warehouse more productive.

Know the True Cost of Equipment

Often, warehouses will purchase equipment for a significantly reduced price in the name of overhead and profit. While there is nothing wrong with keeping spending low, if the equipment is breaking on a regular basis—necessitating down time, repairs, or even replacement—your business may be spending more than it saved on the original purchase price. Every minute of down time equals lost revenue. The cost of your equipment should include more than just the price tag. It should also include consideration for the cost of productivity it affects.

Promote Results to Drive Improvement

In order to gauge improvement, your business needs to track metrics. After all, it’s impossible to improve something if you haven’t been measuring it. Saying a team’s work is “good” might be nice to hear, but employees will rally much stronger around hearing they had a 35 percent increase in orders shipped over last month. Not only should your business capture and manage critical KPIs, you should also know how those numbers affect your warehouse’s productivity.

Inventory control has a direct impact on business productivity, and you can easily track that movement through inventory management software. This software can streamline your inventory control process by eliminating manual data entry, which removes the opportunity for input errors and frees up employee time for other critical tasks.

In addition to capturing and measuring KPIs, experts agree that it’s important to share that information in real-time with the teams that have a direct effect on them. The more teams see those numbers in front of them, the more they are invested in self-monitoring personal performance to contribute toward those goals. Many ERP and inventory management software systems house that critical information and make it easy to share real-time results on screens across the warehouse space.

Verify Your Data as Needed

Simply put: Errors cost money. Whether it’s a wrong label, misplaced product, or incorrect order, both hours and dollars are lost when errors occur. Fortunately, warehouse technology can reduce this form of waste by adding data verification and alerts to normal operations. Many inventory management software systems will flag suspected errors and accuracy issues. Ten minutes a day spent checking these flags could save hours of hunting for products or correcting an incomplete order.

Don’t Ignore Routine and Preventative Maintenance

Just like cars need routine oil changes and tire rotations to run at peak performance, warehouse machinery also needs service to avoid breakdowns. When warehouse machines break down unexpectedly, downtime increases, and you’re faced with not only the cost of repair, but the cost of lost productivity and revenue as well.

Know when your machinery and equipment is due for its regular service and plan downtime to accommodate servicing. Newer equipment outfitted with Internet of Things (IoT) technology can connect to larger systems to send notifications when maintenance is coming due or something is not functioning quite right. Strict inspections and maintenance plans can ensure problems are identified and dealt with before they become serious productivity drains.

PositiveVision Helps You Drive Productivity

Productivity must be balanced with efficiency, but when the two exist in harmony, profits, quality, and employee satisfaction can certainly increase. Adding business systems that work together only increases the opportunity to create that perfect balance of productivity and efficiency.

PositiveVision’s goal is to help our customers achieve better outcomes through technology. Whether you’re looking to implement the right inventory management software system or connect your systems to streamline inefficiencies and drive profitability, PositiveVision has a solution that can help. Learn more about how PositiveVision can drive your productivity forward.

Topics: warehouse productivity, inventory management software