Warehouse of Horrors: How to Avoid a Fulfilment Nightmare

Warehouse of Horrors: How to Avoid a Fulfilment Nightmare

Sure; ghosts, spiders, witches, and zombies are all pretty spooky, but people who have to actively deal with warehousing on a daily basis would know that there is nothing scarier than a fulfilment process gone wrong. 

Although not rocket science, warehouse management can be pretty tricky to get straightened out, especially if you are new to the business. This is because warehousing in itself is an intricate process that involves multiple layers, which also means that there is more room for things to go wrong. 

And because there are so many areas where things could go wrong, it also means that the warehousing process can cost you way more than you intended, which can eventually cause serious damage to your overall budget and hence, take a stark toll on your business! 

Sounds like a nightmare, right? 

Wait, hold your screams for just a moment. 

What if we told you that, as terrifying as it may sound, the fulfilment nightmare can very easily be avoided with the help of just a few tips and tricks? 

It’s true! See, the thing is, Canary7 knows that there is a pattern to warehouse horrors. There are some things that we just know have greater chances of going wrong than other things, which means we have familiarised ourselves with the pattern and therefore, know exactly what to do to make sure we don’t get there. 

And today, we are going to share that knowledge with you! So, keep reading and find out for yourself. 

Contents

  • Part 1: (Ware)House of Horrors
  • Part 2: The Escape Plan
  • A Not so Spooky Ending

Part 1: (Ware)House of Horrors

A functional, highly efficient warehouse is something akin to paradise. We know that for those that have to manage warehouses and oversee fulfilment processes, there is no better treat for the eyes than a warehouse that has its stuff together. 

Unfortunately, the opposite is also quite true: a dysfunctional, disorganised warehouse is the worst thing you could witness as a warehouse manager – which is why we have very conveniently dubbed it as Warehouse of Horrors. 

And listen, we know that the pun might make it a tad bit funny to read; but we urge you to not be fooled because such a warehouse is nothing short of a monster. 

Hard to imagine what we mean? Allow us to paint you an elaborate picture of it and introduce you to the Warehouse of Horrors in all its wretched glory:

Warehouse of Horrors

First characteristic: disorganisation

One of the most terrifying things about most monsters is usually their haphazard appearance. Take Frankenstein’s monster for example. Made from pieces of actual corpses, the most unnerving thing about this creature is the way different parts of him don’t tie up together properly. 

The Warehouse of Horrors is also similar in this regard. You enter it, and the disorganisation is so evident it actually hurts your eyes. Boxes from random consignments are strewn across the floor. The products that need to be frequently reached for picking and packing are hard to get to; barely even accessible for human labour. The ill-thought, messy layout of the storage complex makes accidents and mistakes a common occurrence, which very well reflect in warehousing costs as well. 

If you are in the fulfilment sector, then you already know how disorganisation can have an adverse impact on your progress. It’s not just about money either; a disorganised warehouse space will also negatively impact the morale of your team, which is an even greater loss since it will lead to a decrease in your productivity as well. A disorganised warehouse layout also means that you and your team are more prone to safety hazards, which can put you at a serious risk.

So of course, disorganisation is a very distinct part of the Warehouse of Horrors. 

Second characteristic: seasonal chaos.

Festivals like Christmas, Diwali, and Thanksgiving are generally a cause for joy. For the general public, yes, but particularly for business owners. This is because the times when these events come around, depending on where you are, call for the peak season of sales. No matter what the nature of your business is, you are likely to experience a surge in your sales during peak season, which means growth for your business and even more profits. It’s truly a time for celebration! 

But lo and behold; the Warehouse of Horrors can even dampen your spirits during this time. This is because one of its major characteristics is poor preparedness for seasonal demands. 

Some of your products will gain traction during certain times of the year. For example, if you sell fancy clothing, you will experience a surge in your sales around Christmas/New Year times. 

If you are not prepared to deal with this surge, your warehouse can very well turn into the most chaotic place you will ever set foot in. And by prepared we mean prepared from every possible angle. It would include not only making sure that you have enough inventory, but also ensuring that your workforce and workflows are fit enough to deal with the fluctuations that come with this season. 

If not? Well then, congrats, you have yourself the Warehouse of Horrors. 

Third characteristic: lazy order management.

Laziness is never a good thing; which is why it belongs to the Warehouse of Horrors. When laziness is paired with order management, you get truly disastrous results, which can throw your fulfilment efforts simply down the drain. 

Your order management process is actually a point of interaction between you and your customers. This is because your customers will judge you based on how well you are processing their orders. And as easy as it sounds to ensure this, it really isn’t. 

Even the smallest of mistakes in the order management process can cost you the trust of your customers. What if you don’t process the refunds on time? What if you make inaccurate deliveries? What if your team fails to respond to the warehouse of horrors in time? 

If any of that happens, you’re already in the Warehouse of Horrors – and once you’re in it, it’s hard to get out (cue real spooky music). 

Fourth characteristic: poor damage control.

Damage is a part of life, and by extension, a common occurrence in every warehouse ever. However, in the ever-special Warehouse of Horrors, damage is an all-pervasive, always-present part of the processes, which is of course problematic. 

Because see, although damage will always be a part of your warehousing journey, you can take steps to reduce it and to optimise your processes in a way that doesn’t take a drastic toll on your services. Mostly, this will involve installing equipment like protective gear, lockout systems, anti-slip tape, low clearance warning bars, and conveyor systems. This is what will help you keep your team and as well as your inventory safe. 

Needless to say, the Warehouse of Horrors does not entertain any of this, and is hence a pretty dangerous place – both for you and for the development of your business. 

Part 2: The Escape Plan

There is light at the end of even the darkest tunnels, and hence, even the notorious Warehouse of Horrors comes with an escape plan. 

In simpler words, if you want to avoid the possibility of your warehouse ever turning into the Warehouse of Horrors, you can. And the best part is there is only one thing you need if you want to do that. 

Automation. 

Yes! You heard us correctly: simply automating your warehouse processes can help you ensure that your warehouse remains in optimal condition, and that you can avoid the fulfilment nightmare.

The Benefits of Automation

The benefits of automation include the following:

Warehouse Horrors - The Escape Plan

Increased organisation. 

With the help of automation, you can bring an increased amount of organisation to your warehouse. Automating your warehouse processes will allow it to evolve its layout properly, and you will be able to navigate it in the most effective way possible. 

Automation makes sure that the layout of your warehouse is effective and leads to peak productivity, which makes it a must when it comes to your warehouse! 

More preparedness for peak season.

Peak season is your time to shine, and that’s what automation enables you to do. It enables you to prepare for the peak season on the basis of accurate and precise forecasting. It will help you have enough stock, and make relevant adjustments to your processes in a way that actually contributes to your success. 

Effective order management.

Good order management is the foundation of an impeccable customer experience, which is why it should be your number one priority. By automating your workflows, you can ultimately improve your order management and prioritise it enough for these changes to actually make an impact on your customer success strategy. 

Prompt damage control.

Automation also means you can install warehouse equipment that can make your procedures more secure. You don’t have to worry about operating and maintaining them properly, because the automation mechanisms you have in place will handle these promptly, without requiring extra effort from your end. 

A Not So Spooky Ending

See, we told you that no matter how terrifying the Warehouse of Horrors sounds, you can take matters into your own hands and make sure that your warehouse complex doesn’t transform into your own hands. 

The best way to bring automation to your warehouse is with a warehouse management system like Canary7. Canary7 has all the solutions needed to fulfilment as smooth and seamless as you require it to be.

Colleen Ballantine

Colleen Ballantine

Author

UPDATED ON: 26th Oct 2022

Colleen is a marketing specialist at Canary7, writing in-depth blog content on warehouse management, inventory control, and logistics. With extensive industry experience, Colleen focuses on delivering informative and insightful posts

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