If you’ve just started a new business that requires you to hold large amounts of stock, then it could be time you invested in a warehouse or two to house everything. That said; most people have never worked in this kind of environment before, so learning about what the work will involve and which processes you’ll need to set up is vital during this early stage. At the end of the day, you should consider your warehouse to be a living, breathing creature. If it isn’t run using effective processes, you can bet the outcome will look unhealthy.
So, as I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to warehouses, I thought today might be a good time to give you some basic information that should help you on the road to success. After working in warehouses all around the world for more than twenty years, I know everything there is to know about common mistakes and what makes a business like this run smoothly.
Take a few moments to read through the rest of this post, and I’ll try to highlight some things you’ll need to think about.
Your warehouse will need to be sectioned off into segments that deal with certain applications; the first being goods in. This is where all the products you buy will arrive, and so it’s a good idea to have loading bays with electronic doors like the ones available from Enerco. This will allow delivery drivers to back up and make it much easier for your staff to unload heavy items from lorries.
When clients and customers start ordering your products, you’ll need to employ people to go around finding the right items within your warehouse – these will be called order pickers. Basically, this job is no different to performing a weekly food shop, where you will supply the worker with a list of items and location numbers, and then he/she’ll simple walk round until they’re found. It’s a good idea to have your order pickers place the items in cages or on pallets, as this will make it easier to load.
Loading / Goods Out
Once all your ordered items are picked, it’s time to get them loaded onto your lorries or vans and sent out to their recipients. So long as you’ve already got the items on pallets or in cages, this should be simple, and will only involve the drivers backing their vehicles up to your loading bays.
You might have two hundred different customers and only ten drivers, which is why route planning is going to become essential. You need your drivers to deliver to as many locations as possible along a pre-decided route, and this route must be the shortest it can possibly be to save on money. So, perhaps it might be a good idea to employ someone with specialist skills in this area.
So long as you follow all this information, you should be a few steps closer to running a successful warehouse. Remember, all companies are different, and so how you decide to operate should depend heavily on the type of products you’re supplying and the amount of custom you have.
Good luck with everything though. Running your own warehouse can be very enjoyable.