10 Common Warehouse Management Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Posted in

Warehouse Management

| Written by: MarkSmith

Warehouse management isn’t easy. Every day you’re dealing with inventory control, the maintenance and operation of warehouse equipment, staffing challenges, space issues and more. To perhaps make your work life just a bit easier, here are tips on how to avoid 10 common warehouse management mistakes, from the experts in used warehouse material handling solutions, Outsource Equipment Company.

  1. Not taking inventory often enough. Too many operations fall into the trap of thinking they can’t stop operations to take inventory and therefore don’t take inventory often enough. Do it. It’s worth it.
  2. Not having reorder points. Establish clear maximum and minimum levels for all SKUs. These amounts may be tied to dates when dealing with seasonal items, but the point is to take out the guesswork and rely on established numbers. You don’t want to store more than you need – or not enough.
  3. Storing too much inventory. Related to the first two points is storing so much inventory that it negatively affects your organization. Don’t purchase inventory simply because it’s a good deal. Do the math – count your carrying costs and the resultant lack of space before you even consider going over your reorder point.
  4. Not efficiently arranging your facility. Do your pickers walk for what seems like miles for each order? Do you have lift trucks constantly crisscrossing your facility? Move your fastest moving items nearer to the dock, and put items that often ship together near each other.  
  5. Not keeping your facility clean and organized. Is your facility so clean you could eat off the floor? Not likely, unless you have a clean room. Many warehouses and distribution centers are dusty and dirty – and this can lead to accidents and incidents. Make keeping your facility clean a top priority and you’ll be in excellent company.
  6. Not using your technology to its fullest. Are there features to your warehouse or material handling equipment that you’re not using? If you paid for it, get the most out of it. Make sure that you and your staff are fully training on any new piece of equipment or software that you purchase.
  7. Not training enough. Related to the previous point is making sure all staff are continually trained on operations within your facility. Too often training is viewed chiefly as a time-eating process – but proper training increases efficiencies, reduces errors and limits downtime.
  8. Not communicating enough. Warehouse operations are constantly evolving as companies grow and implement innovations and new technology. It’s important to keep two-way communication open with all personnel as you make any changes.  
  9. Not using a warehouse management system (WMS). Do you list your inventory in Excel – or worse yet, on a legal pad on your desk? The best way to streamline operations and optimize your efficiency is to install a solid WMS that will track your inventory and provide data on trends.
  10. Not considering used material handling equipment. When it’s time to purchase material handling equipment, consider pre-owned. While used warehouse material handling isn’t right for every situation, it can save you a lot of money and provide a quicker ROI.