Just because you have a small warehouse, it does not mean you cannot operate like a big one. The key to getting the most out of a smaller storage space is to find efficiencies where you can. It might be going vertical, looking at push-back and drive-in pallet rack systems to minimize aisle space or filling corners with wire shelving. But there are other ways to find more efficient and smarter ways to not only store, but operate within the warehouse, and those can provide large gains.
People are the backbone of every business. When personnel are treated right and doing the right things, great things will happen. Start by making sure each individual is in the best place for them – both physically within the warehouse and in terms of their skill sets. Then, provide them the training they need to be successful. Pay attention to how they are doing, compliment the good stuff and help them remedy their weaknesses. The time will be worth it.
Also, smaller facilities usually demand of their workforce unintentionally. Find ways to reward their hard work. It can be through bonuses, periodic hourly wage increases or specific prizes when team goals are met. It will keep them happy, motivated and loyal while still accomplishing the mission of the company.
Measurable and Smart Benchmarks.
Every warehouse has metrics to measure performance. What the larger facilities use may not work for your setup. Find the KPIs, requirements, benchmarks and performance goals that make sense for your organization. Tracking items like how many orders are picked an hour, how long it takes to unload or load a truck, do an inventory or pack an item for shipping. Use those numbers to find ways to do them better or faster, and share those numbers with your employees. Use their experience and listen to their ideas on what to set and how to do tasks better. Management is not expected to know it all, and when you bring them into the decision-making, they feel like they are more a part of the team and contributing.
It is also important to set standards and maintain them. A lot of time can be lost in looking for items that are not in their proper location. Keep yourself and your staff accountable for placing items where they belong and maintaining strong inventory processes. Don’t forget shipping and packing and transport. Know what is going on in those lines and on the road as well to make sure everyone is on point.
It is not always about the size of the space or what you do with it. How you operate within it can make a huge difference in capacity and capability. Combining Atlantic Rack’s high quality products with trained, committed and accountable staff with clear goals will help you get the most out of any size facility.