Your warehouse is arguably one of the most important pieces of your business, and therefore should be treated that way. Without a smooth running warehouse you could potentially face=
- No place to keep all of your inventory
- Little or no way to organize that inventory or your supplies
- Your product scattered all over the place
- Late orders delivered to your clients or customers
- The wrong orders or incomplete orders sent to your clients and customers
One of the biggest pieces of organization and efficiency in your company begin and end in your warehouse. If you haven’t yet identified, addressed, or rectified any the following issues in your warehouse, you need to get them sorted out immediately.
If you have enough problems in your warehouse and your customers get sick of dealing with delays in their shipments and disorganization, they could leave you to go do business with someone else. Without your customers, you could risk your business failing and going under.
So that doesn’t happen, let’s take a look at seven of the most common warehouse problems and how to solve them.
1) Bad Product Placement
You should never have your best selling product in the back of your warehouse. Why would you have the items that your company sells the best and the most often, in the places of your warehouse that are the most remote and inconvenient to access? Do you really want to be wasting that kind of time every day to move your best selling inventory from one end of the warehouse to the other?
An easy way to rectify this problem is to simply move your best-selling inventory toward the very front of the warehouse for easy loading, organizing, and shipping. Leave the back of the warehouse and the far corners for overflow items or things that aren’t sold as frequently.
2) Damaged Inventory
Moving valuable, expensive, or fragile inventory to try to cram them into tight spaces can be a threat for the wellbeing of your inventory. If boxes and pallets are constantly being shuffled around, stacked, restacked, and crammed into different places, you are risking breaking your inventory. Damaged inventory is a direct reflection on how you operate as a company, and is a huge inconvenience to your customers.
Always make sure that there is plenty enough space to store your valuable inventory so that you don’t risk damaging it. Rearrange your warehouse to make sure you have as much room as possible for inventory so you don’t have to cram it and force it.
3) Lost or Out of Place Inventory
If your product isn’t where it is supposed to be in the warehouse, your warehouse employees are going to have to search around for it. That costs you valuable time and money that you don’t have to be wasting. Make sure that your process for filing and putting inventory away is automated.
Make sure that before a product goes into a storage slot in the warehouse that both the product’s barcode and the slot barcode is scanned. This will help verify that the every piece of inventory is placed correctly.
4) Orders that Aren’t Complete
When orders aren’t complete, that usually means that you are out of stock of a product, your inventory is disorganized, or you have product that is damaged or broken. That means that your customers are going to be unhappy if their order is late. To avoid this problem, make sure that you put all inventory and all items exactly where they belong and keep them there. Also, keep an idea of the items that need replenishment, so that you know when a piece of inventory goes out of stock, and when to order more.
5) Inventory that is Out of Stock
This is when your inventory system says that you have product on the shelves, but you don’t. Instead of doing a big inventory once or twice a year, check for regularly sold items and inventory multiple times per year, and record that. That way you will always keep track of your inventory and know when you need to order more.
6) Too Many Worker Errors
Too many careless work errors in the warehouse can be a huge problem for tracking inventory and getting out shipments on time. Make sure that you have your warehouse managers monitoring your warehouse team and keeping reports on them that detail their efforts and efficiency at work. That makes problem identification easy. Then all you need to do is make sure to solve that with your warehouse team.
7) Shipping the Wrong Orders
Instead of getting careless by rushing to ship an order out of the warehouse, double and triple check that the shipment is right. Returning shipments to the warehouse to fix them and then resend them wastes a lot of time and costs your business a lot of money. Make sure the order goes out right the first time.
Now, you have a better idea of some of the most common warehouse problems. Some of them, you may already be facing now or have faced them in the past. Regardless, now you have some simple and effective strategies for how to solve them and get back to business.