Top tips for increasing warehouse productivity


Purchase equipment that can be utilized in multiple areas

By purchasing equipment that can be used in a variety of areas with a variety of processes, the cost of doing business will be reduced.

Reduce unnecessary motion/travel

Reducing cycle times and turns happens only after driving out inefficiencies. Equipment that allows operators to collect information quickly without unnecessary motion or travel will improve the process.

Drive out human error with technology

Look for methods and equipment that reduce human interpretation. Scanning of barcodes, sharing information over the network, and combining information from several processes are ways to improve.

Improve staff training

Technology can improve any organization if the people are properly trained to the process and operate the equipment. Train, train, and train again, to get the best return on one of your biggest investments – people.

Ensure good communication

Communication is critical in human interaction. It is also vitally important in processing information within the warehouse environment. Equipment that shares mission critical data through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi quickly shares information with billing and tracking systems and will improve warehouse operations.

Keep an eye on new procedures or technologies

Always look to implement new procedures and look to modern technologies – or different ways of applying old ones – to save both time and effort in daily warehouse operations. Focusing on continued improvement will improve the overall performance and lower the overall labor cost.

Measure performance 

Make sure operations capture and manage critical KPIs. Understand and track critical productivity and costs on shipped orders, cost per box, and cost per line shipped. It is essential to measure and understand baseline information to be able to assess and put in place cost reduction measures. In short, you cannot improve if you do not measure!

Metrics illustrating relationship between warehouse productivity and profit

There is a clear relationship between warehouse productivity and profit. A medium size company with 40,000 pallet movements a year, in which 12,400 pallet movements require weighing, can save 3 minutes per weighment using a mobile fork scale compared to moving the load to a typical floor scale location. This saves the company approximately 37,200 minutes, or 620 man-hours. At an average warehouse rate of $35 per hour, the company could achieve a yearly cost savings of $21,700 ($1,808 per month). If one considers the cost of a mobile fork scale (including maintenance costs) the profitability gain would be more than $13,000 per year.

Warehouses can realize time savings per weighment by using mobile fork scales

Fairbanks customers have realized a time savings per weighment utilizing the Fairbanks BlueLine WF Series fork scale on their forklifts. The weigh forks are completely wireless and use a rechargeable battery pack that works independently of the forklift. This savings was based on the time it took to drive a load to their floor scale and back to the trailer to be loaded compared to weighing immediately at the staging location. Trailers that previously took 3 hours or more to load were loaded in just over 1.5 hours. This substantial improvement in trailer loading times also reduced traffic back and forth from the scale, which in turn reduced dock congestion.

Look to mobile weighing devices to improve efficiency

Incorporating a weighing device into forklifts is an excellent way to reduce excess travel time to and from a traditional floor scale, thus allowing tasks to be completed more quickly.

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