6 Proven ways to improve warehouse efficiency

6 Proven ways to improve warehouse efficiency

improve warehouse efficiency

An efficient warehouse is crucial for customer satisfaction. A poorly managed warehouse often results in fulfillment delays and picking. Improving your warehouse picking efficiency typically involves a series of steps that depends on various factors, including the nature of your products, order volume, and warehouse design. Let’s look at some steps you can implement to improve picking efficiency.


#1 Use the right picking strategy

One of the most significant reasons for picking inefficiency is having the wrong picking strategy. In an ideal world, you should use a picking strategy that suits the type and volume of products you sell. Let’s take a look at some common picking strategies:

Piece picking

The piece picking strategy is the most widely used strategy to pick orders. It involves picking products from rack to rack to fulfill a customer order. Although this model is time-consuming and inefficient, its simplicity makes it easy for businesses to adopt.

Zone picking

This strategy involves grouping products into specific storage zones based on their demand. Pickers are then positioned near high-demand zones to reduce travel time.

Batch picking

Batch Picking is a strategy of grouping multiple orders into small batches. Pickers use a consolidated pick-list to fill all orders in the batch at the same time.

Wave picking

This strategy is essentially a combination of the piece, zone, and batch picking strategies. Pickers are assigned groups of orders in short intervals called waves.


#2 Slot your warehouse racks

Reducing travel time within the warehouse is one of the essential steps for improving picking efficiency. That’s where slotting comes in. By grouping similar inventory products together based on size, demand, and velocity, pickers can source high-demand items quickly. Rack slotting significantly improves picking accuracy and picking time while reducing travel time.


#3 Create hot zones

Hot zones are dedicated spaces for high-velocity items. Assigning hot zones to locations with low congestion and requiring minimum travel time is essential to improving picking efficiency. 


#4 Optimize your warehouse layout

Your warehouse layout is a critical factor that influences how efficiently you can fill orders. As a rule of thumb, you must ensure that your warehouse layout complements your picking strategy and picking equipment.


#5 Know when and how much to replenish

It’s no secret that empty slots waiting for replenishments result in a waste of time and resources in addition to delays in filling orders. Having real-time visibility to your stock levels is the first step to ensuring that your bins have the right amount of stock at all times. A smart inventory management system can help you gain visibility into your stock levels and suggest replenishments based on minimum stock levels.


#6 Reduce product touch-points

Your picked products should move just once from their source locations to the final area for dispatch in an ideal world. However, this does require a fair amount of planning and investing in smart material handling equipment. 

Share this post

Recent posts from our blogs