Discover current strategies and techniques to optimize warehouse management with Infolog.

There are three words that must be the guiding principles of any warehouse: speed, efficiency, and precision. Winning this race is essential for businesses, as ineffective resource management can be a significant obstacle to any project.

But it doesn’t have to happen if the necessary changes are implemented to ensure that warehouse logistics can meet the company’s needs.

Today, we want to introduce you to the five fundamental principles to be “excellent” in the world of logistics, five principles that can make a difference and increase your warehouse’s productivity and level of customer service.

1. Scheduling vs. Planning

At the core of every logistics structure, big or small, Planning has always been the first step towards logistics efficiency. But nowadays, the real solution appears to be Scheduling.

Planning involves every aspect of the warehouse: goods, layout, capacity, lead times, and costs. Its goal should be profit maximization, which translates into “maximizing work done in the shortest possible time.”

Scheduling, on the other hand, is the ability to achieve the same objectives but in a constantly changing environment. An operator is absent, an unforeseen customer, delayed production, longer-than-expected picking, and so on.

Therefore, it is necessary to reprogram every operation and resource in real-time and in a synchronized manner to achieve the goal set by planning.

Warehouse management software, especially the Warehouse Scheduler, can be helpful for this purpose.

2. Balanced and Informed Work Teams

When thinking about how to make a logistics department more efficient, people are not always the first variable considered. Actually, conscious resource management for their enhancement can contribute to increased efficiency and productivity, as well as employee motivation.

To act on people as part of the value chain for achieving departmental and company goals, two measures need to be implemented:

  • Training and education to update the skills available to the company.
  • Task distribution based on individual skills and abilities. With software like Regìa Attiva, you can select the roles that each operator can assume and achieve a balanced distribution of tasks semi-automatically.

A particularly useful tool for increasing employee productivity is “Tutors“. These are large monitors placed inside the warehouse to display the progress of the day and goal achievement in real-time. Orders to be prepared, orders prepared, remaining time, etc.

The location of these monitors in strategic points of the warehouse allows all operators to instinctively see them, making them naturally motivated and committed to completing daily goals.

3. More Effective Space Management

Warehouse space management and goods allocation depend on:

  • the nature of the goods;
  • their size in terms of occupied space;
  • the dynamic turnover

An effective method for maximizing warehouse capacity is the use of dynamic locations.

In this way, incoming goods are not placed in predetermined locations but are stored in the first available location that meets the necessary criteria.

For example, items with a high turnover rate can be allocated to easily accessible locations, reducing retrieval time.

To support dynamic locations, an automated information system is necessary. It should be capable of tracking merchandise movements in real-time and locating materials within the warehouse, even without barcodes, by using Virtual Tags, such as Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS).

4. Intra-logistics Optimization

Optimizing internal material flows can also increase logistics efficiency. Some measures that can be adopted for intra-logistics improvement include:

  • Combined cycle adoption: optimizing operator routes to reduce “empty” trips.
  • Buffering: useful for both picking and production activities, combining the concepts of the combined cycle and “goods to person” by introducing intermediate zones between storage and preparation or production.
  • Layout revision: not always the most economical solution but can help optimize time, space, and management costs. For example, creating contiguous areas or double-order processing islands or establishing a “ready zone.”

5. Measurement

Before implementing a logistics optimization strategy, it is necessary to define metrics for evaluating warehouse performance. This is the only way to check progress and determine if the chosen direction is correct. In this case, measurement tools such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), typically present in warehouse software, can be easily set to the most relevant metrics. This allows for data control and automated reporting and analysis.

If you want to optimize your logistics department, Infolog‘s INTELLIMAG 4.0 WMS is a modular and market-standard solution that includes all the aspects described above for warehouse management and efficiency, enabling investments to benefit from 4.0 tax incentives.

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By | 2023-09-25T17:37:03+00:00 25 September 2023|News|Comments Off on THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF EXCELLENCE IN WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT: LOGISTICS 4.0 MANAGER’S MANUAL