How much time are you wasting on the warehouse floor? While you may not be able to come up with a quantifiable number, most manufacturers and distributors can agree that they waste a significant amount of time in the warehouse. Manual processes still abound in the modern-day warehouse, workers still waste time walking back and forth to pick and pack goods, and data entry is still as cumbersome as ever. As manufacturers and distributors are challenged to find new ways to get their products to their customers faster (all while maintaining excellence in the warehouse), productivity becomes more of an issue.
For many manufacturers and distributors, improving productivity in the warehouse is a catch-22 situation. Unable to speed up order fulfillment without scrimping on important warehouse management tasks, many distributors are at a loss for what to do or how to go about improving their situations. Many have invested hundreds upon thousands of dollars on quick-fix solutions promising to raise productivity levels and increase efficiency, only to be left right back where they started.
So what works? How can distributors and manufacturers realistically improve their productivity numbers without breaking the bank or damaging the systems that do work in the process? The solution depends largely on your operation and the problems you are facing; however, there are a few universal truths that can help you gain traction on your productivity goals. Here are three tips designed to help you save time on the warehouse floor:
- Identify time-wasting activities. The first step to improving your situation is to find out what is not working and create a strategy to fix it. For example: If you are wasting time manually entering information into your ERP system, consider automating the data capture process through the implementation of a barcoding solution such as ScanForce. Barcoding devices can reduce the time spent in shipping and receiving by up to 50%, allowing you to focus your time and energy on more pressing matters.
- Optimize your workstations and warehouse floor for maximum productivity. The layout of your warehouse plays a huge part in your productivity as an organization. If your workers are having to walk back and forth across the warehouse to fulfill a single order, something is not working. Take the time to sit down and examine the layout of your warehouse, looking for any inefficiencies in your current situation that are hindering (or could hinder) your organizational productivity. Look for input from the people who perform these tasks on a daily basis. They may provide you with valuable insight leading to significant productivity gains.
- Invest in time-saving technology. Ultimately, if you are looking to improve the productivity of your distribution and manufacturing operation, you need a solution designed to do just that. ERP software designed specifically for manufacturers and distributors can improve your operation by automating time-wasting activities, improving data accuracy, eliminating duplicate tasks, and bringing order to the chaos that characterizes the warehouse floor. For an even greater productivity boost, pair your ERP solution with barcoding software. Barcoding solutions, such as ScanForce, will not only speed up the order fulfillment process (making your customers happier), but it will also increase efficiency and productivity in the warehouse, saving you the time and money you need to run an effective operation.
If you have squeezed all the productivity juice you can out of your current business tools and systems, it may be time to look for new technology solutions that can help you achieve the productivity you need to make your executives and customers happy. Contact us to see how barcoding software and ERP software specifically designed for manufacturers and distributors can give you the boost you need to save time (and ultimately money) on the warehouse floor.