Unlocking Efficiency: A Comprehensive Guide to Optimising Warehouse Operations with Canary7 WMS

Having a dedicated space with rows upon rows of products can seem intimidating. One minor organisational mishap can create ripples of disaster in your supply. In this situation, a warehouse management strategy is crucial.

Warehouses are crucial infrastructure for any business. After all, these spaces are where products are stored, packed, and prepared for shipment. Because of their vital function in the business ecosystem, warehouse managers should create a detailed plan to maintain efficiency and a smooth workflow.

Not sure where to get started? Read along to learn more about optimising warehouse operations and how Canary7 WMS can help.

What Is Warehouse Optimisation?

Warehouse Optimisation

Warehouse optimisation is essential to a healthy operation as it allows businesses to improve and manage their day-to-day work while making the best use of resources and space.

A warehouse optimisation strategy is crucial for improving productivity, efficiency and accuracy in picking/packing. You can implement this strategy by improving workflow, using technology, leveraging WMS software, employee training and organising the space.

This optimisation aims to decrease costs while increasing the output, leading to a better customer experience. As the market evolves and businesses grow, it’s important to continuously re-evaluate your warehouse’s workflow to remain competitive.

You should always look for new ways to empower your team’s work and improve the efficiency of the warehouse. There are 3 things you should focus on when improving warehouse functions. These include:

  • Daily Operations: This looks at the day-to-day activities inside the warehouse. Here, you can improve picking methods, receiving, shipping, returns management and stock rotation.
  • Structural Aspects: These include the warehouse’s layout, how technology is integrated into the space, and the picking and packing stations. Workforce management and supplier relations can also be improved here.
  • Overall Management: Your warehouse management strategy should focus on more than just individual improvement. Instead, take a holistic approach, where one change impacts the other to create an optimised operational cycle. With an overall management plan, you can ensure that all warehouse stations work to their maximum potential.

Why Do You Need Warehouse Optimisation?

A warehouse is more than just a space to store products; It’s where you create a great customer experience.

Depending on how you maintain stock, package and ship it, you can either make or break a client’s trust. With that in mind, you need warehouse optimisation to ensure all processes work smoothly. Here are 3 areas where warehouse optimisation can help.

1. Inventory Control

Inventory management or stock control is essential to how a warehouse works because it looks at the most important part – the products.

Inventory management is crucial because it helps you track stock levels and product movement. Think of it as a vital building block for building and growing your business.

A solid inventory management strategy will help you maintain stock control, improve customer relations, and boost profits. You’ll have a streamlined supply chain with all your inventory in order. Without it, you risk shortages, disorganisation, waste, etc.

Inventory management will also give you an edge over other ecommerce businesses. 43% of small businesses in the US don’t track their inventory, which means many stores aren’t taking advantage of inventory management resources. Once you start with stock management software, you can build a solid foundation for your company’s growth.

2. Reduced Costs

Warehouses often lose a lot of money by sending out wrong shipments, conducting inaccurate stock counts and receiving returns. In short, human errors are costly in a warehouse environment, which is why having an optimisation strategy can mitigate these expenses.

In fact, Businesses with optimised supply chains have about 15% lower supply chain costs than those that don’t. With the help of robust warehouse management software and strategy, you can significantly reduce excessive costs.

3. Workplace Safety

Another reason to consider optimisation is to improve the work environment for your team members. It’s often easy to forget the amount of labour and effort that goes into managing a warehouse, and the last thing you want is to create a dangerous space.

Warehouses often use helpful but risky equipment such as forklifts, stackers, pallet jacks, etc. Your warehouse optimisation strategy should include safety guidelines that implement safeguards on equipment for workers.

5 Benefits of Optimising Warehouse Operations

Warehouse Operations

Warehouse optimisation provides benefits that go beyond simple operation changes. These benefits provide a lasting impact that ensures your workflow is smooth and errors are minimal.

Need more convincing? Let’s take a look at the 5 benefits of optimising warehouse operations.

Accurate Picking

Errors in picking and packing are costly; you not only increase expenses but also lose customer loyalty. In your warehouse optimisation strategy, use a robust WMS system to track product movement easily.

Add readable barcodes and RFID tags to accurately catalogue and track products as they are picked, packed and shipped. By increasing picking accuracy, you will:

  • Build customer trust
  • Reduce returned items
  • Improve workflow efficiency

Improve Forecasting

When you use a WMS system, like Canary7, you gain visibility of your stock. With this data, you’ll have a comprehensive look at how your inventory behaves and moves throughout the warehouse.

Simply check into your WMS to gather forecast data and plan your future stock strategy. This way, you won’t have to worry about overstocking or running out of products.

Increase Productivity

An organised warehouse makes the space more manageable for workers, allowing them to find items faster and without errors.

Additionally, workers will have enough space to move around safely and reduce the risk of workplace injuries. With an optimised layout, you’ll increase productivity and boost morale amongst your team members.

Short Lead Times

When it’s easy to find items and move them around, you’ll greatly reduce your lead times. An organised space makes it easy to find and prepare the items for shipment.

With a WMS, workers simply scan the items, package them, and log them as ready for shipment. A reduced lead time is crucial for building a better customer experience.

Faster Shipping

Shipping speed is at the core of customer experience; too slow, and you could risk losing a customer. Disorganised inventory, a hard-to-navigate layout, and other factors can create bottlenecks in your workflow, slowing down shipping.

With an optimised warehouse, you can ensure that products are picked up accurately and sent out to customers on time.

6 Ways to Optimise Warehouse Operations

Optimise Warehouse Operations

To create an efficient warehouse, you must balance several factors. You need to consider any challenges, their solutions and other areas for improvement. Once you consider all these factors, you’ll be able to create an optimised warehouse.

Here’s a look at 6 warehouse management techniques to help you get started.

1. Take A Birds-Eye View Approach

Before you start improving your warehouse, think about what you’re trying to fix.

Begin your strategy by completing an assessment of your current warehouse setup. Look at the workload of staff members and check what technology you use.

Is the picking process longer than usual due to disorganisation? Are workers suffering injuries trying to take products from hard-to-reach places? Do lead times go up with high order volume? These are a few questions to help you formulate a solid warehouse management strategy.

Once you start thinking about these questions, you can create a roadmap or checklist to implement new changes in your warehouse or improve existing conditions.

2. Get Organised

We’ve discussed organisation extensively in this article, but what does it look like in a warehouse setting? You can start by labelling and categorising stocks accurately.

Unorganised products often lead to inventory management mishaps, and mislabelled products and items without proper identification can lead to expensive mishaps. Consider using barcodes—an economical but highly effective way of organising your stock.

All you need to do is scan the code and get all the necessary information for your item. Do this process anytime you move, ship, or receive products. With barcodes, you can avoid mistyped SKU numbers, human errors, and bogus inventory.

Additionally, you can improve packing slips to reduce shipping errors. Try colour-coding your packing slips according to the product category. This method allows you to distinguish between items visually and makes organisation easier.

Consider a WMS like Canary7 for better organisation. With our automated picking and packing process, you won’t have to worry about misplaced orders. Our innovative WMS system organises your products with clear SKU information, reducing human error and ensuring up to 99% order accuracy.

3. Think Automation

Automation is quickly becoming an integral part of various sectors, including logistics. Warehouse automation is an excellent way to make the overall operation more efficient and reduce manual labour.

The main purpose of this trend is to find the best ways of conducting operations without little to no issues. With this method, there’s also an overall reduction in human errors and delays in the supply chain.

Automation allows your in-house team to find ways to optimise the workflow with technology. Another great benefit of automation is that it reduces health and safety risks for workers. With an automated picking process, there’s also little chance of heavy objects being damaged during their transport.

Machine-operated picking uses careful parameters to lift items, reducing any breakages. Additionally, automation provides real-time tracking and visibility, improving workplace safety and staff members’ overall working conditions.

4. Choose A WMS Software

Technology is quickly becoming an integral part of warehouses. One of the best pieces of tech you can use is WMS software like Canary7. This system acts as a central hub for all your warehouse operations.

You can add all your stored inventory here, assign categories, track its movement and ensure it gets shipped on time. A WMS system also helps you manage workload and assign tasks according to a worker’s skills. Ultimately, your WMS should centralise all functions in the warehouse.

Canary7 provides clients with a bird’ s-eye view of their inventory and other stations. With accurate data and razor-sharp forecasting, our WMS allows error-free picking, packing, and shipping. Once the software is up and running, you can quickly streamline your workflow and reduce operational expenses.

5. Use Labour Effectively

Another great feature of the warehouse management system is efficient labour use. This software can assess a worker’s skill, equipment and available tasks to assign the best possible work at the right time. With this tool, you can optimise the travel time inside the warehouse to reduce lead times and increase work efficiency.

Modern WMS systems can identify labour-intensive tasks and find the most suitable worker to perform them. You can also use features like labour forecasting to assign tasks on a day-to-day basis and design efficient schedules.

Additionally, the WMS system comes with scanner tools that allow workers to speed up the recording process and ensure all details are accurate. These scanner tools reduce mistakes and improve picking accuracy, leading to better customer service.

6. Invest In Employee Training

You might add top-of-the-line technology and software to your warehouse, but none of these additions will matter if your employees aren’t trained properly.

Hold regular training sessions and add a labour management system to keep track of your employees’ skills. A WMS software should help you out here as it will evaluate your skillset and identify areas for improvement.

Investing in employee training is a great way to get workers up to speed with the latest tech and tools in the warehouse. It also ensures employees improve their efficiency and maintain a smooth workflow.

Warehouse Optimisation Checklist

Optimisation techniques only work if you have a solid warehouse strategy. For example, if you implement one of the above-mentioned techniques, it will positively impact another area of the warehouse.

With that in mind, you must devise a checklist to help you keep on track with goals and make sure you are using the right techniques in the right places. Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.

  1. Asses your Warehouse Space: find out what’s working and what’s not. Create an efficient layout for easy flow.
  2. Define Clear Stations and Storage Sections: Good organisation can go a long way. With so many products, clearly defined spaces can be a major help.
  3. Choose An Appropriate Storage Method: Not all products are stored the same way. Perishables items have different storage requirements than tech products. Take this into consideration so that your stock lasts long.
  4. Add Labels to Picking Areas: This will make it easy for employees to find the items they’re looking for, leading to shorter lead times.
  5. Use WMS Software for Cataloguing: A WMS can create a central hub where all information on your stock is stored.

Create An Optimised Warehouse With Canary7 WMS

Warehouse management systems are crucial resources for any business looking to optimise its workflow. With accurate forecasting, scalable design, and a fully responsive interface, Canary7 is an ideal solution for your warehouse worries.

Our WMS is designed to upgrade every part of your workspace to help you streamline your fulfilment process. Some helpful features of Canary7 include:

  • 360° view of all operation
  • Stock rotation capabilities
  • Multiple software integrations
  • Simplified labour management and more.

So get in touch today to level up your warehouse with Canary7!

Subscribe to get latest posts straight in your inbox.