"If we don’t get it right, we may not be able to reverse and we may not be able to adapt sufficiently," President Barack Obama said of climate change during remarks in the East Room of the White House at the start of August 2015. This brings about an interesting debate on climate change but the same can be said in many different aspects of our day to day operations. Specifically warehousing and I'm actually not talking about climate change directly, but the way in which your warehouse operates.
Probably the most significant time to take advantage of the fact that whatever layout / whatever equipment and building material that you choose to implement in a new warehouse build, has a huge impact on the energy use (and I'm talking about those bills) as well as the efficiency of the warehouse itself.
In the same way that we get annoyed by certain layouts at home - like that annoying window placement in the lounge which makes the sun shine right onto the TV set or the offset patio door which you thought was a great idea at the time but now it turns out that it's really in an awkward place and you really should have had it coming off the kitchen instead.
Well, warehouse planning can be a similar process, and unless you have worked in various warehouses and know what you don't want, it can be a tricky trial and error process.
What you don't Want
Which brings us to this next point - what don't you want? To stay competitive, companies need to avoid getting stuck in the old way of doing things, referring to past practices, the same suppliers and sometimes to an unreliable format instead of seeking guidance from an experienced professional who can advise on emerging technology and tools.
Before we talk about streamlining, it's important to consider how warehouse distribution management companies can streamline their systems. Below are four common warehousing and logistics mistakes to avoid:
Unsold or slow moving inventory takes up valuable warehouse space. This eats up into your profits in two ways; first, it costs you money for storage space, which in turn hinders inventory from moving faster. Improving and upgrading the technology that takes care of your inventory often results in a dramatic improvement in efficiency. How much would you save if you reduced your inventory by 10 percent or more?
Are you mostly running your business on paper? The man hours that go into filing, sorting, and filling out paperwork cost you office space, office supplies and labour. How much time, labour, office space and office equipment will your company save if it went paperless? Paperless technology will allow you to check, file and record key business metrics in real-time.
Shipping Long Distance:
Having a central warehouse and distribution centre close to your stores is a cost effective measure. Therefore, when choosing a warehouse distribution centre, choose one with multiple locations to streamline your needs and cover shorter shipping distances. This will reduce freight costs and material handling fees.
Inadequate Storage Space:
You may find that your business lacks enough space for your inventory. This may be caused by seasonal items or as a result of business growth. To take care of this, it is crucial to use a warehouse management company that has adequate resources in terms of space to take care of your expansion, should the need arise. This will save you money that you might otherwise have to pay to a new company to take care of your excess inventory.
Streamlining also refers to the way in which your warehouse operates on a daily basis. Consider some of the equipment in your warehouse which is the most used, but yet probably very under looked. I'm talking doors.
Efficiency from Everyday Tools
Your warehouse doors are used everyday and they have a number of uses, from the most obvious - access, to security and insulation. And it's not every door that can tick off all three elements. But the Compact Sectional Door can. Find out more by by reading the Benefits of a Compact Sectional Door here.
Forklifts can approach doors at speeds of up to 14km/h, which is a recipe for disaster if the door does not open in time for them to enter and fast opening is critical for efficient passage through the doorway. On average, roller shutter doors open at a rate of 1.7m/sec but did you know that there are high speed rapid doors available which would increase your efficiency? Imagine if you saved time every time your doors opened/closed? In some cases you may say that this does not apply to you because you keep your warehouse doors open, but what about heat loss/gain and what about dust/pests - I bet you may benefit in the long run by having a high speed rapid door controlling both of these facets.
Movidors open at up to 2.0m/sec, and gently closes the door once the traffic has passed through, making Movidor one of the fastest soft-edge design high speed doors available. Watch the Video here. Now, your critical doorways can be kept closed for longer, reducing energy losses through open doors.
In comparison to a roller shutter which travels at approximately 0.14m/sec, you can see how the Movidor High Speed Rapid Door saves time - no waiting around for doors to open!
If, lets suggest, you have a 4m door in your facility – by installing a Movidor, rather than a standard shutter, you save 26 seconds each time the door opens. Calculate then, how often your team use the warehouse door (whether for deliveries or receivables), possibly six times in the morning and six times in the afternoon, that's 5 minutes, 20 seconds each day that is saved by the use of a Movidor. Now imagine how much time is saved if your doors are used much more than that?
And for the example earlier, multiplied by five working days per week / 52 weeks per year, which equals 22.5 hours saved each year (for the above example) simply by choosing one door over another... It's a case of "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves".
From thinking more about each aspect of your warehouse operation and the tools implemented (we'd like to think of warehouse doors as a tool in helping your production get from A to B), you certainly have the opportunity to run a very 'tight ship'.
*All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.
What can you do to increase profitability and efficiency? Check out our free resources comparing a Compact Sectional Door