In a survey conducted by Intermec at the end of last year, it was reported that mid-sized warehouses lose approximately 3,000 hours a year due to workforce inefficiencies. The survey also noted that 30 percent of warehouse managers had not conducted a review of their processes in the warehouse in the past year.
Document Procedural Changes & Compare against Errors
For a warehouse, accurate inventory picking isn’t a benchmark for success–it’s a necessity. “In our industry, you rarely get credit for the 99.99 percent of things that go right,” says Milton Cornwell, COO of third-party logistics provider Materialistic.
Improve Profit Sharing Programs with Extended Education
To increase the impact of a profit-sharing program, leadership should help workers understand how the warehouse fits into the business. Profit sharing is a popular way that businesses emphasize quality work and incentivize teamwork in the warehouse.
Success reflects efficient implication of one team’s action with others. Generous employs not only shares profit for its warehouse worker, but he also believes its training programs for warehouse workers–which discuss its business in general as well as the implications of one team’s actions upon others–are an important catalyst for its success.
Ask Leadership to Walk the Floor
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for Undercover Boss. But while the reality show often ends with a cheesy, made-for-TV epiphany from the CEO, asking your leaders to walk the floor can help find extraneous, unnecessary activities that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Ask a senior member of your management team to help pick packages or assist in the storage yard for a day. During this time, ask if they question “why” things are being done the way they are as much as possible.
Avoid Over Engineering Your Warehouse
To achieve operational efficiency and high return on investment from new technology, it’s important to remember a new warehouse management system won’t break bad worker habits. Placing an expensive technology investment on top of an inefficient, unregulated workforce is a recipe for a poor return on investment. Thomson says that his team is considering a new software product that could improve pick-and-pack rates, but he hasn’t yet pulled the trigger on the purchase.