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How to Make Your Warehouse Run More Efficiently this Christmas

It’s imperative for any business owners to keep their customers happy, especially on the run up to Christmas. Everyone will be feeling the stress and pressure of the festive season, ensuring everyone receives their presents on time and that a delicious Christmas dinner is on the table on the 25th December.

With that in mind, warehouse owners and business owners alike should work tirelessly to make sure that their customers are receiving products in good time. If you find that you’re struggling slightly with this aspect, then it might simply be that you have to improve efficiency and productivity throughout your premises and here’s how you can do just that.

Reconsider your warehouse layout

Warehouse efficiency and an organised warehouse layout often come hand-in-hand, but even a neat and tidy warehouse can quickly go into disarray, meaning items will become difficult to locate and the warehouse itself could be difficult to navigate. This can cause operations to slow down and become less productive and efficient as a result.

In order to prevent this from happening, make sure that items are easy to retrieve, putting your best-selling products at eye level at the front of your racking, for example. You should also check that employees are following the correct procedures for their own safety and it’s also important that your premises are kept clean and tidy at all times. Not only will this make items easy to find but your employees will be safe at all times when navigating their way around.

Do your best to plan ahead

Although this sounds like an impossible task, it can be easily done to the best of your ability and you can do this by reviewing past data. Analyse the numbers that came out Christmas last year and use those numbers to forecast what will happen this year. There are numerous different ways in which analysis of past data can help you in your current warehouse operations, including:

  • Working out your best and worst selling items
  • Finding out which products were returned the most
  • Identifying any products with the most reported faults

By pinpointing where the problems lie, you’ll be able to better prepare for it this Christmas and as a result, you may well end up seeing less items being returned to you. Returned items that are faulty or damaged can cost a business a hefty amount of money and so it’s important that you do everything you can to mitigate the problem in the first place. One way of doing that is to refrain from buying notoriously faulty items or products of poor quality to begin with.

Track your products throughout the purchasing & distributing process

With modern technology, it’s never been easier for a warehouse owner to track and trace the products they receive and sell on. By using the latest tracking and tracing technology, you’ll have the ability to track items throughout several stages of the overall process, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Quality control
  • Warehousing
  • Despatch

Individual items can also be tracked these days, as well as entire pallets of stock. Handheld readers are ideal for the tracking of separate products and can even be used to detect counterfeit goods and even access maintenance records, where applicable.

By using an automated tracking system, you’ll not only see a reduction in search times but it’ll also cut labour costs and considerably slash business process delays. Tracking your products throughout the purchasing and distributing process using new technology will ensure that high-quality, accurate records are being kept as it’ll eradicate errors that come as a result of manual processes.

Keep on top of how much stock you have

It’s important that you know exactly how much of everything you have before the Christmas season starts. This helps to prevent over-ordering from your suppliers as, by the time the season ends, you could have surplus stock that you might find difficult to shift. You could even risk having perishable items expire, such as:

  • Food and drink
  • Makeup, skincare and haircare items
  • Certain face masks, such as dust masks or FFP3 masks, for example
  • Plants and flowers
  • Oils
  • Medication
  • Pharmaceutical

You’ll be able to use advancements in technology to keep track of the goods you already have in stock, in real time. This kind of reporting will help significantly when it comes to effective inventory management. In turn, this will help to save money further down the line as you won’t be throwing away copious amounts of out-of-date stock.

Regularly retrain your employees

Even your most seasoned of warehouse employees will need to be retrained every so often, especially right before peak season begins – Christmas. Refresher courses for forklift operation and inventory management, for example, can be a highly-effective way to keep your warehouse operations on course, regardless of how busy it gets or how high the demand is.

Not only this, but your employees also need to be aware of all safety procedures and measures to ensure that all of your workers are protected from harm in the workplace. It’s also important that your staff know how to use and operate any new software and electronic devices that you have implemented.

If they’re able to seamlessly operate the new technology you have in place, then you’ll see a noticeable difference in efficiency, productivity and the overall speed at which operations are carried out and successfully completed.

Charnwood Lift Trucks are proud to be able to provide customers throughout the UK with high-quality warehouse machinery that’ll stand the test of time. From forklifts and reach trucks to order pickers and warehouse racking, you’ll be able to look to us for your every material handling need. We also have forklift hire and pallet truck rental available and a wide selection of used forklifts and second-hand warehouse machines for those who are on a budget. If you’d like more information about how we can assist you today, get in touch with a member of our experienced, specialist team – we’re always happy to help.