An effectively managed warehouse can cut unwanted costs, increase profit margins, and stay stable in inflation. With surging inflation and demand for more storage space, how do you efficiently manage your warehouse in 2023? The blog discusses five practical ways to inflation-proof your warehouse.
1. Know your inventory levels in real time
Inventory management is the primary part of warehouse management. With rising costs during inflation, no business can afford to overstock. Maintaining optimal inventory levels in your warehouse is the key to avoiding unnecessary maintenance and storage costs.
Moreover, when you sell on multiple online sales channels like online stores and various marketplaces, you should know what’s in stock, how much, and where. If you don’t have this information, you may face stockouts, hurt your business reputation, or overstock, risking your profit margins. The best way to achieve inventory visibility is to have software that shows you and your customers the inventory levels in real time.
A centralized Warehouse Management System (WMS), like DEAR, provides real-time inventory visibility. DEAR supports wireless scanners and automatically stores all the product details once the product is scanned. By integrating your sales channels with DEAR, you can view the incoming orders from every channel and simultaneously check the inventory levels of your warehouse in real time through DEAR’s intuitive dashboard. Additionally, DEAR keeps your customers informed by displaying accurate stock levels of every product listed on your online store or marketplace.
To top it all, you can even automate DEAR to replenish stock by setting triggers. Thus, DEAR will automatically reorder stock when it reaches a preset level you define. Therefore, you can focus on your business while DEAR sorts out your inventory.
2. Use your warehouse storage space efficiently
Once your inventory levels are optimized, and you have the right number of goods at the right places, half of the battle is won. Next comes warehouse space optimization. With warehouse shortages and skyrocketing rental costs, every square foot counts as it costs you money and impacts your other warehouse operations. For instance, if the items are not appropriately placed in the warehouse, it leads to confusion while picking the products for delivery and also increases the chances of inventory turning obsolete. Obsolete inventory can eat your profits and even put your business at risk during surging inflation.
Warehouse putaway is a vital process carried out in warehouses to verify the quality of goods and store them in appropriate places. However, many businesses often overlook the putaway process, which leads to unorganized warehouses, misplaced items, and damaged products. DEAR’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) simplifies the putaway process by verifying the received items against purchase orders (POs) for any discrepancies. If no discrepancies are found, DEAR automatically assigns storage locations to every product based on its size, material, product type, Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), PO, or other information. Hence, your warehouse team can be sure of where the products are placed in the warehouse at all times. That will significantly reduce the picking time and speed up the order dispatch process. Thus, you can fulfill orders faster and run a successful business.
3. Perform regular stocktaking to ensure quality goods
Warehouse management is not a one-time job and does not end after organizing the items in the warehouse. Businesses have to verify the quantity and quality of the goods stored in the warehouse by conducting stocktaking at regular intervals. Stocktaking helps you understand market demands and identify best-selling and poorly performing products. Thus, you can stock the right goods in appropriate amounts.
Additionally, stocktaking helps to verify physical stock against your records, identifying missing stock early. You can also prevent obsolete inventory from occupying your warehouse space by intervening early and selling it at the best possible price. Overall, you can keep your costs under control during inflation as you can forecast better and have optimal control over inventory planning by taking stock of your inventory.
4. Use cross-docking whenever possible
Cross-docking is the logistics practice followed by businesses to avoid warehousing. Businesses can opt for cross-docking during inflation to cut costs on warehouse storage, reduce unwanted inventory handling and use the space for stocking other crucial items. Cross-docking often takes place in a dedicated docking terminal inside a warehouse. It involves unloading goods from the supplier’s vehicle, sorting and transferring the goods directly to the delivery vehicle, and delivering them to customers. However, cross-docking may not be applicable for all things and at all times. Cross-docking is ideal for perishable goods that have a limited shelf life.
5. Speed up your picking process and deliver orders faster
Strategically organizing things will reduce the picking time significantly and enable your warehouse team to fulfill orders faster. Good warehouse slotting focuses on sorting items and strategically storing them in minimal space. For instance, storing similar items together, or putting fast-moving items in the most accessible place while keeping less frequently purchased products in top racks or underground storage.
Slotting also ensures the safety of the products and your employees. For example, storing heavy items in a not-so-accessible corner will avoid unwanted accidents, while placing fragile items in a safe place will avoid damage. DEAR’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) eases your warehouse slotting process by automatically assigning the products to the appropriate storage location.
DEAR has a vital role to play in your picking process as well. DEAR can simplify the most expensive and labor-intensive warehouse picking process by helping your warehouse team to work more efficiently and fulfill orders faster. For instance, when you receive multiple orders from different sales channels, DEAR evaluates all the orders and works out a detailed picking list, informing pickers of the best route to take, where to go and which rack to check. Once the products are picked and packed, DEAR prints shipping labels instantly. Efficient picking and speedy delivery are made possible with DEAR. Thus, with DEAR, your team can fulfill orders promptly and keep the business thriving during inflation.
Inflation-proof your warehouse with DEAR Systems
Managing your inventory effectively during times of inflation is important to keep your warehousing costs down. Effectively utilizing every inch of storage space, using an organized picking system, and ensuring the quality of goods keep your profits intact. By using alternatives to warehousing, like cross-docking whenever possible, you can save time and money. DEAR can help you with all of these action items and more and help your business stay stable during inflation. Do you want to know more about DEAR? Contact our DEAR experts.