Your picking productivity can be the most important element to get right in your business. No matter how good your products are, or how well packaged they are, or even how good your customer service might be, if the products aren’t picked and sent out quickly, customers will start to complain. So how can you improve picking productivity within your warehouse? Here are some ideas.
Although you might think at first that your warehouse staff would be better at picking products if they were all kept together in a small space, the opposite is actually true. When there isn’t enough room for everything, and it is all crammed together, it can be harder for people to find what they need, plus they will keep bumping into one another – literally in some cases – making things even harder.
If you are trying to function from a small warehouse but you have a lot of different products and need more space, investing in a larger warehouse or additional buildings can help you. You will be able to place everything in its own place, especially when you utilize heavy duty warehouse racking shelving, ensuring that warehouse staff can find it easily and quickly send it on to its final destination.
The ‘travel time’ for employees when they are picking products can account for as much as 50 percent of their daily work. It would clearly make a lot of sense to reduce this travel time – everyone would be much more efficient, and you might even be able to reduce staffing costs in this way.
Although you won’t want to make your warehouse smaller (and therefore literally reduce the amount of time it takes to get from one end to another), you can invest in a conveyer belt system which will certainly speed up the process. Not only will this make your staff more productive, but it will look more impressive, perhaps even bigger than it is, and up to date should anyone come to visit.
When someone has been working for you for a long time, they will automatically know where to go to pick the right products; they will even know which order to pick things in to make them more efficient.
A new starter, or someone who finds it difficult to memorize where items might be placed, won’t be able to do this, and they will spend a lot of time searching for things, and their productivity will go down.
In order to combat this, you can ensure there is excellent signage all around. This may seem like a simple idea, and perhaps even an obvious one, but if your signage is out of date or non-existent, it could be the reason for lower productivity levels within your warehouse.
Of course, putting all of these measures in place won’t do anything to help picking productivity if your staff aren’t happy with their working conditions, or with something happening in the company itself.
Make sure you take care of your workers by ensuring they have a good amount of breaks, they know where to go and who to speak to if they have a problem, they have ongoing training, and you show that you genuinely care for their wellbeing. Employees who feel looked after and appreciated will work harder and be more efficient.