Most warehouse managers know they need to address problematic issues in their own facilities. However, when it comes to managing daily operators, while thinking about long-term changes, maintaining these areas might be harder than they initially thought. If you are looking to improve your inventory management and warehouse operating capabilities, make sure to avoid these common mistakes:
Having a disorganized warehouse
You can have the best employees and processes in the world, but if your warehouse is disorganized, you likely will begin losing money and time due to lost orders, materials and other issues. Take an assessment of all your storage and holding areas. Are they full of messy docks and aisles covered with overfilled pallets and packaging materials? While you might see these signs as indicators of a busy company, others might see this as a liability.
Additionally, you are putting your employees at risk due to the various safety hazards that come from being in cluttered warehouse. Essentially, any business that doesn't follow good operational housekeeping rules, isn't efficient. Not only do the messes prevent workers from getting around easily, but products and materials could get lost. Create a clean-up strategy to get your warehouse is working order, while also drafting a maintenance plan to keep it organized for years to come.
Hiring unqualified or untrained employees
Keeping operations running smoothly is never a easy job for a busy manufacturing warehouse. Needless to say, holding regular worker training sessions about new ways to improve your employees' inventory management skills might not be on the top of your list. Yet, if you want to avoid frustration down the line from onboarding unqualified or poorly trained workers, you want to make sure you are taking time to vet applicants and extensively train everyone who joins you team.
Even with training, people still make mistakes. Cindy Harder, the Principal of Visual Data Group, told Camcode that human error is one of the leading causes of warehouse inventory errors. She explained that it's extremely common for workers on receiving docks, packing areas and loading areas to lose or misplace inventory.
"Companies should include training as part of the hiring processes to illustrate the importance of proper handling of inventory," Harder said. "Regardless of the job an individual is hired for, they should be trained on all the facets of the warehouse, the tools used to manage the inventory and that inventory errors are their responsibility."
"Human error is one of the leading causes of warehouse inventory errors."
Failing to update your technology
In today's paper-free world, you cannot afford to continue using inefficient, paper-based workflows. With numerous competitors on the market and innovative, affordable tools becoming available that make manufacturing and shipping processes run more smoothly, you might be running out of excuses about why you can't upgrade your technology. Paperwork will always bog you down and leave you with plenty of problems should you make mistakes or misplace key shipping documents.
If you want to gain efficiency in your warehouse, you must switch to digital information storage systems and software. Don't waste time with extensive paper logbooks and SKUs. Instead, invest in a simple, but effective warehouse management system. This way, you'll begin reducing errors and freeing up more time to reinvest in other areas of your operations.
Using the wrong barcodes
There is no doubt that inventory labels are a crucial part in keeping track of your inventory from production to distribution. With one scan, your workers can gain key information about your products and monitor inventory levels. This keeps your operations running smoothly and your customers happy. But what if you are using the wrong barcodes at your warehouse?
Depending on your field, your inventory might be exposed to unstable temperatures or moisture content. If so, you want to choose durable barcode labels that will withstand whatever comes their way. High-performance thermal transfer labels meet the needs of a wide variety of barcode marking applications for manufacturers in multiple industries.
At Stranco, we offer a wide selection of thermal transfer barcode labels for any warehouse looking to gain efficiency and reduce overhead costs. With no minimum order requirements, manufacturers can order as many or as few labels as they want to fulfill their unique labeling needs. Contact one of our customer service representatives today to learn more.