A large majority of the goods you find in department stores and supermarkets are there because of the non-stop operations of a vast network of warehouse operators, trucking companies, shipping companies, and freight forwarding companies. With the continuous expansion of the e-commerce market, more and more companies are realizing the need to streamline their warehouse shipping operations to stay competitive as online demand continues to grow.
With the steady growth of e-commerce in Australia, goods, products, and items are constantly being moved from shipping ports to shipment hubs, as well as from warehouses to supermarkets and wholesalers. A typical Brisbane freight forwarder, for instance, spends hours and hours handling containers, cargos, and packages. To know more about streamlining warehouse operations, here are a few suggestions.
Sort Your Warehouse Into Organized Sections
The first thing you have to do to streamline your warehouse shipping operations would be to sort everything in your warehouse into organized sections. You should also leave alleys for warehouse staff and lifts to pass through.
Before computerization or automation, there’s nothing that can streamline a warehouse better than having everything sorted and organized in a way that anyone assigned to look for something would be able to find it without much difficulty.
You should also set up a label system for your items and organize them, depending on what goods and items are in your warehouse, into racks, shelves, or boxes. Develop a simple and easily understandable system of labeling each rack, shelf, or box. This will help your workers become more organized when they retrieve and place items in their designated locations.
Use Integrated Inventory Software
Another common problem in warehouse shipping operations is that, sometimes, cargo or inventory is lost or misplaced. When they need to be moved out and delivered, they’re nowhere to be found or it would take a lot of time to search the entire warehouse just to find the missing items.
One way you can streamline this is by using integrated inventory movement software applications. You can integrate the inventory of goods and items in your computers with their physical locations and actual movement by using an integrated software application. In short, what the computer says regarding the location of a specific item or product should really be where that item or product can be physically found.
Some warehouse operations service providers use bar code label systems on their items. These bar code labels are scanned whenever some of the items are moved from one warehouse to another warehouse or to the shipment hub.
Aside from their usefulness to the security of the warehouse, some operators also use surveillance cameras to monitor the movement of inventory. If any products or items on the inventory went missing, they can check the records to pinpoint what happened to the lost or misplaced goods, and who among the warehouse staff last touched or went near them.
Integrate Systems With Service Providers
Another important aspect of warehouse operations is your contact and interaction with external service providers such as trucking companies who’ll pick up the items from your warehouse and deliver the products or items to your inventory.
There are warehouse service operations that integrate their own systems. For instance, the schedule of pick-up of products and items, which are to be forwarded or shipped, can be synchronized with the availability and schedule of the truck and transport units of the trucking company.
You can also do this with the IT systems of trucking companies. For instance, schedules of delivery trucks to bring your inventory can be synchronized with the schedules of the trucks picking up items for forwarding and shipping to end-user customers. This way, the delivery trucks can arrive a few minutes or an hour after the pick-up truck has left with your item inventory.
Integrate Warehouse With Order System
A fourth way to streamline your warehouse shipping operations is by integrating your warehouse operations with your end-user ordering system. If you have an online store, then you can streamline your shipping operations further by linking your warehouse system with the ecommerce site.
Take note that some software systems are incompatible so you should have the warehouse and order systems reviewed by IT specialists. They’ll know if the two systems can be integrated right away or if you would need to adopt intermediating software applications to make them work together.
This kind of integration has been successfully adopted by the largest warehouse retail stores in many countries. Their systems are so integrated that the moment an item is picked up in a store, an order for the same item is placed to the inventory warehouse service operations. The warehouse will then prepare the item to be included when the truck arrives to pick up the next shipment.
Streamlining warehouse operations should be a combination of organizing of all the stuff in your warehouse and the application of the warehouse service operations platform and software. If you can integrate this with your end-user client’s systems, then you can create a seamless workflow.