The put-away process eats into the efficiency of your warehouse’s day-to-day operations. As a result, you need to streamline your methods to reduce their impact on your picking productivity quotas. Here we share tips to optimize your put-away methods to improve efficiencies across your entire warehouse operations.
Invest in the Right Storage Equipment
To avoid expanding your warehouse footprint, you need to invest in the right storage equipment to take advantage of your vertical space. Taller storage units in hand with flexible equipment to increase reach are far more affordable than leasing or buying more warehouse square footage. The type of shelving, what you use to store smaller items on pallet racks, and the bins you use to pick orders all contribute to improved use of space. Choosing product-appropriate shelving reduces loss, and the addition of containers such as bins ensures you keep smaller items organized on shelves.
Data collection helps streamline the process, providing a better understanding of space availability. Along with the right storage equipment, you can determine what space makes the most sense for each product location. Data collection should focus on the following:
- Receiving and shipping frequency
- Cargo type
- Sales volume
- Cargo Size
- Current storage availability
With the right data, you can optimize the use of space and improve efficiencies by knowing exactly where products will be located.
Update Your Warehouse Management Software
3PL warehouse technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. As a result, you could be using an outdated warehouse management system (WMS) that slows down your put-away process. Updated warehouse management software leverages the latest features and automation to improve warehouse optimization and develop a more seamless put-away process. New software is designed to integrate with customized software or ERPs so you can facilitate improved receiving capabilities. As a result, you become faster.
Timelines motivate teams to complete work quickly. You should be setting timelines that allow you to set realistic goals so as you receive shipments, they are in the system and ready for fulfillment. Timelines should include clear directions at each stage of the receiving process so everyone understands their goals and you avoid floor congestion that slows down the entire operation.
Improve Placement Accuracy
Use your data and 3PL warehouse management software to reduce errors. You can ensure your put-away team knows exactly where items go so errors don’t slow down your pickers. Scanning the barcode or RF tag on the item and slot helps improve put-away accuracy.
The risk of damage always increases when a warehouse is disorganized and your team is rushing. When you improve your put-away process, you empower your team to become more efficient. Less cargo sits around because it is safely stored, which in turn reduces the risk of damage.
Use Scanning to Track Locations
Scanning makes it easy to track every item in your warehouse. You can’t depend on memory or piles of paper to determine stock locations, even in very small warehouses. A 3PL warehouse management system that uses real-time reporting ensures you know where an item is located, but also where put aways are to be installed.
Keep Inventory Counts of Put Aways
All new arrivals should be counted to verify the correct amount was received. If you don’t have a person accountable for counts, you will never reconcile inventory because the quantity received wasn’t correct on arrival.
Reduce Walk Time
Mapping out the steps from the receiving area to the location for put away reduces travel time. When everyone involved in the process understands their route, you manage traffic throughout the warehouse, improve efficiencies, reduce damages and avoid accidents.
Adopt Direct Put Away
Direct put-away saves several steps by taking cargo from the receiving area to its final destination upon arrival. Without staging, there is less handling, and warehouse space is optimized. However, to do so, you need a warehouse management system that enables location assignment in advance of cargo delivery.
Clean and Organize Your Warehouse Daily
A clean warehouse is an organized warehouse. When everything is organized, you remain efficient at every stage of the game, from put away to shipment.
These tips help create an organized warehouse with optimized space and efficiencies. When you are ready to receive cargo with a clean warehouse, where cargo allocation is predetermined and all team members are accountable for specific steps, you streamline your process and become more productive. Consider your warehouse system and determine if it facilitates improvements or is holding you back from achieving your put-away efficiency potential.
VeraCore is SaaS order and warehouse management software trusted by top fulfillment companies and 3PLs. Affordable, flexible, easy to use; VeraCore is everything you need to keep clients happy and run a lean operation.
With VeraCore, you can grow your business and handle any challenge with ease. Rules-based automation enables you to control all aspects of your warehouse operation and satisfy each of your clients’ unique requirements.
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