Is Your Warehouse Ready for the Largest Ecommerce Holiday Season yet?
With COVID influencing brick-and-mortar stores to shut down for their regular Black Friday sales, many ecommerce retail spaces are gearing up for what could be the largest ecommerce holiday season thus far. There is no question that warehouse workflows matter in day-to-day operations, but when the holiday season hits, it’s a great reminder that your warehouse becomes a compass to your growth.
If you haven’t begun to review your warehouse organization yet, there is no time like the present to start working towards a better workflow. Warehouse organization not only increases productivity, but it also allows better customer service and better revenue at the end of the day.
Why you should care about warehouse organization and workflow
Your team works hard every day of the year to bring your products to the masses. Sometimes it can feel like a chore to get everything done and everyone on the same page. Your warehouse workflow should allow for cross-departmental communication as well as productivity. If it doesn’t, we are sure your bottom line suffering, and your staff is too.
Warehouse workflow increases productivity. When your warehouse is clean, organized, and labeled, your staff spends less time searching for products and more time getting everything packed and ready to ship. In turn, this allows for less time spent on picking the order and more time fulfilling. Over time this increases the opportunities to expand and reach new markets. It also allows your staff to spend less time frustrated at the systems in place and more time enjoying their job.
Warehouse safety is primarily concerned with the organization. Are your products accessible? Easy to locate? Are your floors clean of debris? Better safety means less time staff has to take off due to injury and more time they can spend helping operations run smoothly.
Lastly, customer satisfaction depends on your operations team and the warehouse organization. When you give minimal care or consideration to inventory organization in your warehouse, there are more opportunities for your products to be misplaced, broken, or even worse- customers receive the entirely wrong product. As we approach the holiday season, we find products delayed reaching your customer, and there might be increased returns. It is essential to have your staff be on top of the orders.
The tips, tricks, and secrets of a great warehouse
- How you receive your inventory dictates how the rest of your workflow operates.
Do you have a dedicated team member who is processing your inventory that you are receiving? If not, you should strongly consider having a dedicated role in receiving your inventory. You will want this person to record what inventory quantity has arrived if it was in good condition and then stored in the correct labeled locations. Without a clean process from the beginning, your inventory may get lost, broken, or never be received.
Labeling is an easy tip that can occur at any time. Label your warehouse and product bins so employees can quickly identify the inventory they are looking for in the picking process.
- Identify your pick, pack, ship, and pickup processes.
Do you know how your employees are picking the product? How do they pack the product? And how do they ship the product? Understanding these processes and standardizing them allows for easy workflow and increased productivity. If something isn’t working, you can go back to these processes and revise it with your team.
- Your staff knows best. When in doubt, ask your team what could be improved
The people operating in your warehouse sometimes know better than you, where the processes need improvement. Sometimes your staff is dealing with daily annoyances that can be holding them back from the best efficiency and productivity they are capable of; talk with them.
- Cloud Inventory can improve your warehouse.
Cloud Inventory Management can help you see from a birds-eye view, everything that is going on in your warehouse. It allows you to see multiple warehouses as well as each inventory item. Ultimately Cloud Inventory Management helps you, the staff, and your bottom line.