The public warehousing in storage industry is huge. As of 2016, there were about 4500 warehouse companies throughout the country. The estimated revenue of the entire industry is about $20 billion a year.
While the industry is growing and offers tremendous job security to managers, it can also be very hectic. Warehouse managers are struggling to handle their growing workloads, even as their team sizes remain about the same. Working with multiple vendors and suppliers can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to streamline and automate these processes.
Here are some things that every warehouse manager must do to minimize their stress and workload, as well as minimize the risks of any problems.
Maintain close relationships with inspectors and auditors
Warehouses are subject to many building and business regulations. These policies can change quickly. Since they often modified by the discretion of the state and municipal regulator, you may not hear about these changes in the media.
It is best to have a close working relationship with auditors and warehouse inspectors. They can provide advance notice about any regulatory changes before they schedule their surprise inspections. They want to ensure everyone is in compliance, but will be most willing to work with warehouse managers that maintain a mutually respectful relationship with them.
Use the right warehouse management system
As your workload as a warehouse manager rises, you are going to need to use resources efficiently. Warehouse management applications make things a lot easier.
Here are some of the benefits warehouse management software applications provide:
- Compliance tracking
- Product lifecycle management
- Real-time notifications
- Vendor and client management platforms
- Document management
There are a lot of great warehouse management software applications. You need to take the time to review them and make sure they are appropriate for your warehouse.
Build a Close Relationship With Your Suppliers
Maintaining close relationships with your suppliers can help you avoid all kinds of fiascos. You want to find out if there will be any delays in shipping and anything you can do on your end to avoid them.
Make sure that you have the name of someone that you can stay in touch with. They will be able to give you more timely feedback if you have a dependable contact.
Make sure accounts receivable terms are clearly stated in your contract and invoices
Misunderstandings over contracts are one of the biggest causes of grief between warehouse managers and suppliers. On the other hand, vendor misunderstandings over contracts are one of the biggest causes of grief between warehouse managers and suppliers and customers. Make sure they are clearly spelled out in your contract and provide friendly reminders in your invoices.
Organize inventory storage carefully
Organizing your inventory is one of the most important aspects of running a warehouse. If your items can’t be easily located, your picking staff will have difficulty finding them. This can cause your efficiency to drop 60% or more. This is a cost you simply cannot afford if you are trying to manage relationships with four or more customers. Digitalist Magazine has some great feedback on it:
“The best organization keeps the fastest moving materials front and center in your warehouse. You can increase your efficiency by grouping products that are normally ordered in groups. Consider how grocery stores stock products — if you are looking for bread, you do not go to the milk aisle.”
You need a very specific place to store every product in your inventory. You also need a reliable inventory tracking system to make sure they can be easily found.
Make sure that every stocking employee knows where products are supposed to go, so they don’t get misplaced. Training them is one of the most important things you can do.
Featured Image from Shutterstock / By wavebreakmedia