March 06 2017

Warehouse inventory management

Warehouse storage space is expensive, so it makes sense to make the most of your warehouse storage capacity in order to reduce carrying costs and increase material handling efficiency. Making a few changes to your warehouse operations can pay off with big savings. Here are a few material handling tips to make your warehouse even better.

Improve Forecast Accuracy and Inventory Management

Inaccurate forecasts result in excess inventory that complicates warehouse inventory management. If you’re still using a spreadsheet to generate forecasts, consider upgrading to a more sophisticated solution. Modern forecasting tools include best-fit algorithms and take seasonality and planned promotions into account. Better forecasting will save money on inventory acquisition, handling costs and obsolescence.

An effective ERP (enterprise resource planning) or inventory management solution can help by generating inventory requirements so you can reduce on-hand inventory without reducing customer service levels or increasing stockouts. Less inventory takes less space, so your overall warehousing and storage management performance will improve automatically.

Optimize Your Warehouse Layout Design

Analyze your physical characteristics of the warehouse, the materials you need to store and the material flow. Then, slot the warehouse to optimize storage. Frequently picked items should be stored near the front to minimize travel time within the warehouse, and small and large items should be stored in different racks optimize shelve spacing and minimize the chance of losing the small items.

Use All the Space You Have Effectively

Warehouse space management requires thinking in multiple directions, including vertical. With the right industrial storage systems, you can build up instead of adding more square footage. Using all of the available vertical space will save on carrying costs, enabling a more effective warehouse design. The right warehouse storage systems can make all the difference in operational efficiency.

Maximize Your Warehouse Material Handling Equipment

The right material handling equipment can increase productivity and improve safety for your team. Make sure your equipment is suitable for the loads you expect, and include a margin of safety in your calculations. It’s also important that aisles are wide enough for fork trucks to maneuver safely and that they are equipped with working lights and a horn.

Your material handling equipment is key to operational efficiency, so take good care of it. Train your team to do a pre-shift equipment checkup, and schedule recommended maintenance regularly.

AS/RS Warehouse Storage Solutions

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for maximizing warehouse space and improving overall warehouse inventory management is by using an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). These material handling systems store large volumes of materials in a small footprint and help eliminate errors. When integrated with a state-of-the-art warehouse execution system (WES), they can have a major impact on almost every aspect of your warehousing and storage operations.

An AS/RS reduces travel time in the warehouse, automatically improving efficiency as well as accuracy. Integrating your WES and ERP solutions with an AS/RS will provide the ultimate solution in your drive toward maximizing warehouse space without losing operational efficiency.

These warehouse space optimization techniques are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to maximizing your facility. The dedicated team at Westfalia Technologies can help you with every aspect of warehouse space management, including recommending the right material handling systems for your unique business requirements. For more insight into warehouse layout design, contact us today.