7 Strategies to Optimize Your Distribution Center!

Optimize your Distribution Center

Distribution channels are vital for companies because they enable smooth item delivery to their customers. These centers include areas to receive the items, ensure package efficiency, and store, ship, and audit supplies which is why you want to optimize your Distribution Center.

According to PrecisionWarehouseDesign.com, effective warehousing enables products to arrive to the consumers in the best possible state. On the other hand, inefficient distribution centers are prone to inventory inaccuracy and poor warehouse layout.

As a result, most repetitive processes might be vulnerable to frequent errors due to manual inputting. In addition, organizations may not be able to deliver orders on time, which affects their credibility and market share.

This article provides seven effective strategies to optimize your distribution center.

1. Change Distribution Center Layout

A well-designed warehouse layout creates more efficient access to stored items and reduces shipping. If your company can develop an efficient design for its distribution channel, you’ll be able to increase order fulfillment rates. As a result, you’ll leave satisfying experiences for your clients, encouraging them to repeat business transactions with the brand.

Before you can recreate your existing distribution center layout, you need to design a warehouse blueprint. Next, you should include warehouse mezzanine systems and free-standing structures where equipment can move without much effort. Once you install them, you’ll be able to utilize the space of the building and help you minimize costs.

2. Leverage Historical Insights

Storing valuable historical insights can help you create data-based decisions by learning from previous challenges. With warehouse data collection, you can increase the efficiency of obtaining data sets to enhance your distribution channels. You can develop better product quality, reduce turnover, and improve client satisfaction.

As you optimize your distribution center, you must invest in analytics to get measurable insights and make data-driven decisions. Once done, you can use this information to improve shipments and monitor workforce performance. Alternatively, you may use these details to determine the redundant warehousing functions that might cause processing errors.

3. Regularly Monitor Inventory

Tracking inventory gives you an idea of which products generate the most revenue and how many stocks you need to satisfy orders. This process will help you supply your stores with the correct number of items while avoiding overstocking that may result in product spoilage. Instead of missing out on sales opportunities, your customers will be able to purchase their desired goods.

When monitoring inventory, you must use supply control technology like a warehouse management system to help prevent the shortage and avoid excess materials. Moreover, the most advanced manufacturers of this software can allow you to receive real-time updates using multiple remote devices. In addition, you should add barcode scanners to your list to record all the supplies that come into your distribution center to eliminate manual input errors.

4. Adopt Vertical Racking System

Vertical storage systems are stacked pallet racks on top of each container, which will help you maximize the floor space. As your employees move each aisle, they can navigate them using forklifts without moving other supplies. As a result, you’ll create faster collecting, retrieving, and fulfillment processes.

When creating this system, you have to calculate the required space for storing each pallet to improve storage efficiency. After that, you must consider various storage solutions, including drive-in, deep lane storage, pushback, and drive-thru racks. Furthermore, you must provide your warehouse staff with equipment like lift trucks, forklifts, and man-up order pickers to help them handle heavy items.

5. Improve Labeling

Accurate warehouse labels can help you improve operations by preventing expensive and time-consuming errors. In addition, you’ll enable them to reach enhanced inventory control while reducing the effort in looking for suitable materials from the racks. On the other hand, incorrect labeling may result in your team shipping the wrong products to consumers and mishandling items that need proper care.

When labeling distribution center inventory, you must create warehouse labels for the floor, racks, cold storage, and warehouse bin. After that, make the system sequential by numbering the shelves and aisles to help your workers to locate specific items in the building quickly. Moreover, ensure to make the labels easy to find so they won’t have to waste time reaching for high stickers.

6. Keep The Aisles Clean

Implementing a well-organized warehouse will help you ensure that no equipment will hit scraps and other vulnerable items. Without this process, debris on the floor may damage the parts of heavy products, which requires you to replace them. Additionally, your staff might step on beverage spills, which may cause them to fall and gain serious injuries.

To improve warehouse safety, you must establish a clear cleaning roster and allocate achievable tasks to your staff. Next, you have to tidy pallet areas and ensure they’re correctly organized so other employees can quickly find and pick up the items. In addition, you have to provide them with cleaning supplies and place them inside readily accessible rooms. Also, you must put several bins in various locations so your team won’t have to travel when throwing rubbish.

7. Train The Distribution Team

Providing your warehousing team with a well-designed training program ensures that everyone knows the new systems. With this activity, you can help them learn how to use innovative equipment to avoid mishandling it properly. Moreover, your supervisors can be more productive by focusing on their managerial tasks instead of being distracted by untrained employees.

When developing this program, you must collect all the necessary instructions for each new piece of equipment and show your relevant staff how to use it effectively. Also, you must give entry-level workers the right skills to improve their existing expertise and help them qualify for upper job positions.

Then, you should use fun team-building activities to establish relationships to increase your employees’ satisfaction levels, reducing turnover rates.

Key Takeaway

As an entrepreneur, you should always provide your staff with satisfying work experiences by improving your warehouses. Therefore, you should use these seven strategies to optimize your distribution center. Once you do so, you’ll minimize warehouse-related accidents, increase productivity levels, and boost your brand reputation.

Optimize your Distribution Center article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on September 23, 2022.