Top 10 Ways to Improve Warehousing Efficiency for Material Handling
Has your organization explored all of the ways to improve warehousing efficiency?
In material handling, the benefits of warehousing efficiency are synonymous with success: higher customer satisfaction, reduced operating costs, increased productivity, and better safety.
Here are Alliance Material Handling, Inc.’s top 10 ways for reaping those rewards and improving the overall efficiency of your warehouse.
1. Use the Right Equipment
The right equipment can make all the difference in the efficiency of your material handling operations. In general, investing in new equipment reduces overall material handling costs by cutting down on labor requirements, and improving accuracy and speed of tasks. However, purchasing professionally vetted used equipment from an authorized dealer is a sound way to both add to your fleet and save.
2. Optimize Your Warehouse Layout
The layout of your warehouse can have a big impact on efficiency. Make sure your aisles are wide enough for your equipment to move around safely, and that your storage areas are organized in a way that makes sense for your products. Alliance conducts space and system analyses, and offers expert solutions for increasing warehouse storage capabilities and utilization.
3. Conduct a Rack Audit
Identify racks that need repair and conduct preventive maintenance of your racking systems. Alliance’s audit services are designed to spot at-risk pallet racking items in our partners’ warehouses, providing them with engineer-approved information to make management decisions. Updated racking options are also available, such as selective pallet racks, cantilever racks, and more.
4. Emphasize Employee Training
As the materials handling industry evolves, so do safety regulations from OSHA. Up-to-date training for employees on procedures and proper use of equipment is imperative to efficiency and optimum safety—and it’s also the law. Forklift certifications expire every three years, and OSHA holds company owners responsible for their employees’ forklift training, certification, and recertification. Alliance offers multiple OSHA-compliant training programs upon request.
5. Implement a Safety Program
In addition to offering employee training, implement a comprehensive safety program at your warehouse. Of course, keeping your people safe is the highest priority. And, improving safety saves time and costs for your company. General steps to building a safety program include assessing risks, developing policies and procedures, training, enforcement of rules, and tracking the program.
6. Properly Service Your Equipment
Regular maintenance of equipment by qualified technicians reduces downtime, increases energy efficiency, improves equipment safety, and extends the life of your equipment. Alliance’s highly trained technicians are on call for material handling equipment service—from periodic maintenance and repairs, to handling emergency breakdowns.
7. Assess Your Dock and Door Systems
Optimized loading docks and doors increase productivity and safety of warehouses, particularly high-speed doors. Alliance offers a complete line of industrial and loading dock doors, as well as service on all brands of industrial doors.
8. Keep Parts in Stock
When it comes to stocking spare forklift, warehouse, and material handling parts, it’s all about striking a balance. You don’t want to invest in too large a parts inventory in the interest of cost. But to reduce downtime when repairs are necessary, keep a conservative inventory on hand of your most necessary and often-replaced items. The most necessary parts to sock include:
Internal gear mechanisms and lubricants
Hydraulic replacement lines and fluid
Have a reliable parts supplier at the ready, such as Alliance, which has a direct link to more than 200 dealer locations through its nationwide network, and parts professionals who go the extra mile to locate hard-to-find parts.
9. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Automate your warehouse operations as much as possible. Automation can free up your employees to focus on more value-added tasks, and can also help to improve accuracy and efficiency.
10. Monitor Your Performance
It is important to monitor your material handling performance on an ongoing basis so that you can identify areas where improvements can be made. Identify your metrics and analyze the data. Warehouse management software can assist with this, as well as physical audits of the warehouse. Alliance’s experts are skilled auditors in assisting warehouses dramatically increase efficiencies.