With advancing technology and constantly changing customer expectations, warehousing and distribution is becoming more complex with each passing day. To maintain a functional and efficient operation, there can be no room for mistakes. Here are a few of the most common warehouse mistakes and how you can avoid them:

Housekeeping Neglect

When you let mess and clutter accumulate in your warehouse, you invite an array of problems into your operation.

To start, a messy warehouse is hazardous to your employees, as they could fall and severely injure themselves. It’s important to keep all walkways and aisles clear at all times.

Aside from those safety issues, good housekeeping simply encourages productivity and efficiency. When everything is in its place, your employees can more effectively perform their duties with minimal interruptions.

Bad Measurement

Measuring the performance of your warehouse is crucial to success, but are you measuring the right data?

If you suspect there are areas of your operation or processes that need improvement, consider and reevaluate your KPIs, or key performance indicators. Ensure that the numbers at the forefront of your operation are meaningful and have the most impact on the performance of your business.

Integrating some common-sense warehouse performance metrics can be extremely helpful, especially for smaller operations.

Neglecting Other Processes or Departments

When the orders start flowing and employees get busy, it can be difficult to prioritize where attention and time should be invested. You may be devoting all your time to one area when another department or task needs it even more.

It’s important to keep in contact with both staff under your supervision and managers of other departments, because knowing what’s going on in your operation will better help you prioritize tasking.

When meetings are scheduled, keep them. If managers are slammed, make sure they are delegating tasks so that the needs of their team aren’t neglected in the meantime. Make schedules and to-do lists, and consistently stick to them.

Lack of Preventative Maintenance

The last thing you want is for your equipment to break at the worst possible time. Broken equipment costs companies millions of dollars per year in repair costs, wasted time, and lost revenue.

However, many operations could have avoided the malfunction altogether with preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, sometimes companies have a hard time justifying the cost of preventative maintenance and are guilty of putting it off for months at a time.

Think of it this way: companies spend millions of dollars on equipment, so it’s worth investing further in preventative maintenance to extend its life and keep it running at maximum efficiency.

Failing to Keep with the Times

While the trusty paper and pen still have their uses, relying on them for important processes can be slow and prone to error. Automating your process with up-to-date technology is crucial to staying relevant and competitive.

Untrained and Underdeveloped Staff

Undertrained employees can lead to high turnover, inaccuracies, productivity loss, and accidents.  Employing a staff that fully understands your business, products, and processes are crucial to proper warehouse functionality.

Detailed and researched training programs should be built for each position and department.

Investing in the Wrong Equipment

When faced with a problem that a piece of equipment can solve, some companies first look to the least expensive and quickest-fix solution. It’s important to do extensive research to determine which piece of equipment best suits your application needs, budget, and both your long-term and short-term goals.

This is especially true when exploring material-lifting equipment. There are many options out there that move materials from one level to another, so you’ll need to understand your priorities.

If you are looking to safely and efficiently move materials or products from one level to another, explore our Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors, or VRCs. If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our experts, contact us today to get started.

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