Last month, we talked about how the heart of distribution is the warehouse, and the importance of efficient warehouse operations for a successful organization. Efficiency is indeed important, because healthy efficiency needs to be kept in the right balance with productivity for your business to succeed.
You might wonder what the difference is between efficiency and productivity. While these qualities are similar in nature, it’s the difference between quantity (productivity) and quality (efficiency) that defines the two. Productive businesses produce a significant output, but if it takes too long to make the item or there’s a significant investment of time or resources to sell the item, the business will not be as profitable. It takes careful planning to keep productivity and efficiency in the right degree of tension in order to create a successful business. Take a look at these top tips for making your warehouse more productive.
Quality Equipment Matters
Often, warehouses will purchase equipment for a significantly reduced price in the name of overhead and profit. While there is nothing wrong with keeping spending low, if the equipment is breaking on a regular basis—necessitating down time, repairs, or even replacement—how much is really being saved? Every minute of down time equals lost revenue. The cost of your equipment should include more than just the price tag. It should also include consideration for the cost of productivity it affects.
Work Toward the Right Goals
In order to gauge improvement, your business needs to track metrics. After all, it’s impossible to improve something if you haven’t been measuring it. Saying a team’s work is “good” might be nice to hear, but employees will rally much stronger around hearing they had a 35 percent increase in orders shipped over last month. Not only should your business capture and manage critical KPIs, you should also know how those numbers affect your warehouse’s productivity.
In addition to capturing and measuring KPIs, experts agree that it’s important to share that information in real-time with the teams that have a direct effect on them. The more teams see those numbers in front of them, the more they are invested in self-monitoring personal performance to contribute toward those goals. Many ERP and WMS systems house that critical information and make it easy to share real-time results on screens across the warehouse space.
Data Verification Reduces Errors
Simply put: Errors cost money. Whether it’s a wrong label, misplaced product, or incorrect order, both hours and dollars are lost when errors occur. Fortunately, warehouse technology can reduce this form of waste by adding data verification and alerts to normal operations. Many warehouse management systems will flag suspected errors and accuracy issues. Ten minutes a day spent checking these flags could save hours of hunting for products or correcting an incomplete order.
Make Time for Scheduled Maintenance
Just like cars need routine oil changes and tire rotations to run at peak performance, warehouse machinery also needs service to avoid breakdowns. When warehouse machines break down unexpectedly, downtime increases, and you’re faced with not only the cost of repair, but the cost of lost productivity and revenue as well. Know when your machinery and equipment is due for its regular service and plan downtime to accommodate servicing. Newer equipment outfitted with Internet of Things (IoT) technology can connect to larger systems and send a notification when maintenance is coming due or something is not functioning quite right. Strict inspections and maintenance plans can ensure problems are identified and dealt with before they become serious productivity drains.
Increase Warehouse Productivity with Accounting Systems, Inc.
Productivity must be balanced with efficiency, but when the two exist in harmony, profits, quality, and employee satisfaction can certainly increase. You owe it to yourself and your employees to search out every way—from software to equipment investments—to make your warehouse both productive and efficient.
Don’t let the delicate balance of warehouse productivity and efficiency scare you. Accounting Systems, Inc. has years of experience helping companies find the right software solutions to increase productivity in the warehouse, resulting in improved profits year over year. Whether you’re investing in an ERP or WMS solution, ASI can tailor a solution to your organization to manage equipment maintenance, KPIs, and data verification. Invest in your productivity now by clicking here or calling 803-252-6154.