Businesses always look for ways to make their operations more efficient and productive. Evaluating your existing warehouse equipment and processes and implementing changes is one of the most effective ways to do so.
We know this an important topic as we get towards peak. Last year, we found that 31% of retailers and 3PLs said productivity was their biggest problem during the high demand season of Q4.
As the demand for faster order fulfilment increases, businesses must constantly optimise their operations to remain competitive. Even a few small adjustments can have a big impact on how your warehouse operates…
In today’s article, we’ll discuss the benefits of boosting your warehouse productivity. We’ll also look at three simple equipment changes that can boost productivity, ultimately improving your overall business results.
Benefits of improving warehouse productivity
Improving warehouse productivity is important, as it directly impacts your overall operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and bottom line.
Customer orders are processed and shipped faster, which leads to improved delivery times and better customer satisfaction and loyalty. So much so that, IMRG’s Home Delivery Review found that 40% of consumers say that delivery satisfaction impact’s their household decision when using a retailer.
A more productive warehouse can handle increased order volume without the need for significant expansions or additional resources. This leads to a benefital use of existing space and reduced overhead costs.
Other benefits of improving warehouse productivity include:
- Companies can save time and resources by improving processes and using them efficiently for equipment, staff, and inventory. This results in better resource allocation and increased efficiency.
- Enhanced productivity can help a warehouse handle larger volumes of inventory without needing to expand its physical footprint. This is particularly important in cases where expansion might be costly or impractical.
- A productive warehouse can handle increased orders during busy times, preventing delays and keeping work flowing smoothly.
- A well-organised and efficient warehouse provides a better work environment for employees. When staff members can accomplish tasks more easily and with less stress, job satisfaction tends to increase.
- Improved productivity can help a warehouse handle larger volumes of inventory without needing to expand its physical footprint. This is particularly important in cases where expansion might be costly or impractical. Especially this year, as it’s been reported that warehouse rental values across the market will rise by 5%. It should be noted that the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK has revealed that 86% of companies have experienced warehouse operative staff shortages in the past two years. So even if you can find the space, you might not be able to hire the staff to fill it.
In essence, improving warehouse productivity positively impacts various aspects of your operations. By investing in streamlined processes, technology, and employee training, businesses can enhance their effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and overall success.
Packaging solutions to increase productivity
Packaging solutions play a crucial role in increasing warehouse productivity by streamlining the packaging process, reducing errors, and optimising space. Below are three solutions that can help boost productivity in your warehouse:
1. Temporary Pick bins
Warehouse accessories, such as pick bins, are ideal for managing your packing areas and boosting productivity during peak periods.
Available in corrugated cardboard or Correx e.g. (corrugated plastic), temporary pick bins are made to order with a variety of customisable options to ensure your warehouse design works for you. You can choose the type of bin access you need, including fully and partially open faces, straight or chute fronts.
The design can include a tray inside the bin that helps to divide the bin, creating more places to pick items. Additionally, it allows for easy storage of related goods.
Pick bins that are mounted on the floor can come with extra legs so that they can be easily moved by pallet trucks and forklifts. Extra shelves are also available to separate different products. This is especially helpful when you have similar items stored in different parts of the store.
By organising items in pick bins, pickers can quickly locate the products they need, which reduces the time spent searching for items and speeds up the overall picking process. Placing frequently picked items in pick bins near packing stations or shipping areas minimises the distance pickers need to travel. This reduces fatigue and allows you to process more orders in less time.
You can stack or organise corrugated pick bins on shelves, making efficient use of vertical space. Instead of picking from bins spread across the warehouse floor, pickers only have to touch the bins they’re collecting from. This minimises touch points and handling errors.
An added benefit of temporary pick bins is that they can be broken down and stored flat when not required too. This means they can be used to flex around production demand, such as the often quiet period after peak in January, where extra pick bins may not be required.
2. Automated Tape dispensers
Tape dispensers can boost productivity in warehouses by making it easier to apply tape to packages.
Using tape dispensers can speed up the process of dispensing tape, compared to doing it manually. This helps workers complete packaging tasks more quickly, leading to increased productivity within the same timeframe.
Manual tape application can be time-consuming and repetitive, leading to worker fatigue and potential downtime because of injuries or strains. Switching to automatic solutions reduces physical strain on workers and helps maintain a consistent pace throughout the workday.
Automatic tape dispensers provide consistent tape lengths, ensuring that every package receives the right amount of tape. This reduces the risk of wasting tape as well as helps lower overall packaging costs.
Overall, automatic tape dispensers help optimise packaging workflows by saving time, reducing waste, and increasing accuracy. When integrated into a larger packaging process, they contribute to a more efficient and productive warehouse environment.
3. Introducing packing guidelines at every packing station
It doesn’t matter if you have two team members or twenty; how they operate will make the difference!
Adding packing guidelines that cover topics from time management to best practices will not only help as we begin to prepare for the high-demand season, but help with daily life.
If you want to go the extra mile, why not think about providing extra staff training, too? That is why, you can ensure all packers know the best methods and tips to become more productive!
As we’re slowly making our way towards peak, now is a great time to start preparing. Can you think of any areas where you know you could improve?
How Macfarlane Packaging can help
At Macfarlane Packaging, we offer a comprehensive range of packaging materials, warehouse equipment, and packaging machinery, all designed to help you establish an optimal packing environment.
We know the pressures of rising costs when margins are being squeezed. It’s why we developed the Packaging Optimiser; a market-leading tool we can use to help you quickly and easily find the hidden costs in your packaging operation. It will also show you just how much you can save, with even quite modest changes to packaging, warehouse layout or processes.
We can assist you in achieving the perfect packaging solutions for your needs – whether you require sturdy boxes, protective materials, or efficient machinery, we have you covered. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and discover how our expertise can benefit your packaging operation.