Warehousing and storage has a significant impact on the cash flow and productivity of your business. The operating system, design and layout you choose all play a role in achieving customer satisfaction and the best possible profit margins.

Maximise the efficiency of your warehouse and storage facilities by giving serious thought to these guidelines.

Stock control

Whatever the size of your business, you have to keep control of stock entering and leaving your warehouse. Introduce a stock control system that meets your needs. Explore computer systems that are capable of organising stock levels, re-ordering quantities and linking between product codes and storage locations.

Racking

Although some businesses use floor space, bins or carousels, most warehouses need some form of racking. Choosing the right racking system is vital to the efficiency and safety of your warehouse. For example, the racking must be strong enough to hold the weight of your products. Racking should be durable and easily adaptable to change and expansion.

Packaging and pellets

The size and stability of pellets play an important part not only in the day-to-day organisation of the warehouse, but also in the successful delivery of undamaged goods to the end user. Clear labelling with product details and destination are essential.

Safety

Adhere to all safety regulations. Staff safety should be a priority. You also need to consider insurance requirements. Implement management objectives and carry out regular hazard checks.

Training

An efficiently managed warehouse requires well-trained staff. They need to be able to handle complicated equipment safely and operate a computer controlled stock system.

Waste disposal

Introduce an area for waste disposal at the warehouse design stage. Waste disposal can thus be better managed on a regular basis.

Consider new developments in warehouse management

The rapid expansion of computer-controlled storage has led to a massive increase in services provided by warehouses. Internet trading means many warehouses have needed to adapt quickly to meet new demands. For instance, carton labelling has to comply with electronic data exchange standards, while internet procedures are required to cope with advance dispatch notification and order confirmation.

Technology usage is also expanding in existing warehouse operations. Some warehouses are introducing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to operate in tandem with barricading, or to replace it. The main advantages of RFID over barricading include higher data capacity, the product does not have to be visible to the operator and information can be updated when the consignment is in transit.