Long thought of as simply a place to store products between transactions, warehouses are coming into their own as a place where companies can hone their competitive edge. A well-planned, efficient warehouse is an asset that can help your organization cut costs, improve customer service and operate in a more environmentally responsible way.
There are many ways to build value for your organization with your warehouse, and they aren’t all complex or difficult to engineer. Here are three easy practices you can implement this year to turn your warehouse into a powerhouse of value for your company.
1. Simplify work flow in your warehouse
These days, labor comes at a premium. Finding ways to improve each worker’s productivity can help your team accomplish more without adding to payroll. In a warehouse, one way to do this is to analyze workflow and structure work processes to minimize the amount of time an employee has to spend on each task. For example:
- Update your inventory list according to item popularity. Locate more frequently ordered items where they can be most quickly and easily reached. Think vertically as well as horizontally; an item in the front of the warehouse that requires a forklift to reach may actually be less accessible than one in the back at ground level.
- Are certain items often ordered together? Store these items near each other to reduce back-and-forth traffic in your warehouse.
- How about your paperwork? Can you simplify it to reduce time spent processing an order?
Remember, reducing touches reduces cost. Reducing the number of times a product is moved or handled will help make your workflow more efficient, for a more productive and valuable warehouse service.
2. Offer fulfillment
Cutting cost is important, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of value building. Anything you can do to improve your customers’ experience and/or save them time or money can help your company grow and keep customers happy.
If your warehouse stores inventory for other companies, one way to add a lot of value to them is to offer fulfillment. By drop shipping items, you can relieve them of a lot of hassle and expense. Plus, fulfillment fees can turn your warehouse into a profit center for your company.
3. Install HVLS fans to improve year-round productivity
Studies have shown that workers who feel too hot or too cold become less productive and more prone to errors. In a warehouse, this can lower productivity and even increase risk of accident. But it can be challenging to maintain a comfortable temperature in a warehouse cost-effectively.
One excellent solution is to install HVLS warehouse fans. These large industrial fans are easily installed under the rafters of your warehouse, and move large masses of air gently through the space. When it is warm, the evaporative cooling effect that results can reduce perceived temperatures by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, helping your workers stay cool and productive. The fans will reduce humidity levels, too, which can help you avoid the dangers of sweating slab syndrome in your warehouse.
If you choose a model that can be run in reverse, the value continues in winter. In cool weather, warm air collects near the ceiling. A Go Fan Yourself HVLS fan can push it back down to ground level to keep workers warm without bumping up the thermostat.
There you have it, three easy ways to increase the value of your warehouse. You might think of additional ones. Regardless of how you choose to do it, the next step is to take action and implement! How will you raise value in your warehouse this year?